Monday, July 2, 2007

Lessons We Learn

My son is not afraid of water - at all. Right now we take a Toddler/Mommy (ages 1-3) swim class. It's the only one available for his age at our neighborhood pool. We took this class last summer too. Last summer, the lifeguard said to maybe try the level one class (ages 3-5). See, at age one my son could do all the toddler things: blow bubbles, put head under water, jump off the side of the pool, kick, etc. He can still do all those things. What he cannot do, as a two year old, is obey commands - consistently. Which is why we're in the toddler class again instead of level one.

My son's dilemma reminds me of a writer friend of mine.

She's good, really good. She can do all the things a pre-published writer should be able to do: manage pov, plot, brainstorm, develop characterization, understand conflict, etc. What she cannot manage to do is sell a book to a major publisher. Why? I wish I knew the answer. See, my friend has about decided to quit writing. I've tossed all the "On average, it takes ten years", "On average, it's your fifth manuscript", and "Stephen King had a room wallpapered in rejections", encouragements I know at her. She's still ready to quit.

My son is really too advanced for the Mommy/Toddler class. We could easily stay home or do something else - preschool maybe? But, see, he's a great swimmer, even if there's not a spot for his skill level. So, we go to the toddler class and there's a different teacher every time, and somehow we always manage to get a little better, get a little closer to level one. Maybe the only thing my son is learning is how to listen.

My friend is really too advanced to be considered a beginner. Yes, she could easily do something else - crocheting maybe? But, see, she's a great writer, even if she hasn't been published yet. So, in my opinion, she should stay in that chair in front of her computer and write a different book. It will, as usual, be better than her last, and she'll be a little closer to publication. Maybe the only thing my friend is learning is how to submit, submit, submit.

Here's the truth. My friend is a better writer than I am. I just submitted more.

No comments: