Today my daughters and I head back to school–homeschool that is. We have been anxiously awaiting this day as we all enjoy this time together. Our original start date was pushed back by the move (we school year around, taking the month of June off and starting the new year in July), and then pushed back again due to an illness that decided to hit every. single. person. in our household. Alas, here we are!
Growing up, I was always a big fan of the first day of school. I loved brand new school supplies (especially pens and notebooks), so pretty, so perfect, so ready to be used! I wholly embraced the learning mentality, soaking in every detail, especially from my extra classes like creative writing and anything to do with computers.
Even today, I strive to keep the old addage–”learn something new every day”–as I grow in my place and season.
As a writer, this couldn’t be more important. The publishing business is fickle–it ebbs and flows, changing with the tide. What was up is now down, what was write (hehehe) is now wrong. What was hot yesterday, is cold oatmeal today. What was–well, you get the picture. On top of that, everyone has their own ideas on building the best plot, the most realistic characters, the most engaging synopsis/query letter/proposal. What works for one, is death for another. There is so much to learn, to experiment–so many ways to grow.
One of the most important characteristics for a writer is to have a teachable spirit. Since we are far from perfect, and many things change with the season, we have to read–a lot–go to conferences, use critique partners/groups, learn from the best–essentially immerse ourself in this every-changing world if we even hope to survive.
As overwhelming as that all sounds, there is hope. We are writers. The hard part is admitting that–now that we have, we move forward, doing what writers do. Write. Nothing can substitute the actual act of writing.
So as my family starts our new school year, let us remember to always be teachable. To always be open to learning and growing. To always be ready for what is just over the horizon.