January 5, 2012

Sometimes, in the midst of the New Year’s newness, it is easy to lose sight of or disparage our growth. How many resolutions we didn’t keep, how many book deals we didn’t sign, how many pounds we didn’t lose, and so on. Sometimes we only focus on the past year, not the past five or ten. It gives us a false sense of non-growth.

Last week we celebrated my son’s second birthday and yesterday was his two-year checkup. I began to think about all the way he’s changed  in those seemingy short two years. How I’ve changed in the past two years. Not for the first time did I realize my maternity leave really began my decision to seriously pursue publication.

While my son’s growth has been explosive, measurable, constant, my writing growth is less visual. Less measurable. And there were a series of months of rejections that had me seriously wondering if I’d grown AT ALL. How can you really determine if you’re getting better?

I’m not sure there’s an easy answer. Even publication isn’t proof of growth. Still, after years of writing and years of being an English teacher, I can assure you, whether it feels like it or not, if you keep writing, keep reading, keep moving forward, you are growing. Maybe it’s not measurable, maybe it’s at a glacier slow pace, but if you’re trying to get better, you are.

That’s the great thing about writing. There’s no plateau. No one marker to reach that says you can’t get any better. If you’re trying to improve, you will.

One Response to “Growth”

  1. Tilly Slaton Says:

    You are absolutely right! Shortsighted “failings” blinds us from our feet have taken us.

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