Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Learning to Swim

My 2 y/o goddaughter loves water. She used to hate it. I mean screaming hate it. But now she loves it.  So, with her being more comfortable in water, I take the monkey swimming.

She's an independent little girl and, despite her age, always tries to let go of my hands when she's in the deeper parts of the pool (even though I don't let her - I'm a soft touch, but I'm not insane). But her confidence always makes me smile. 

And it got me thinking about writing (come on, you knew I'd take this to some writing level). Leaning to write and learning to swim are very similar.

There's the trepidation of dipping your toe in the water or, for a writer, the idea. The rush of cold shocking your body from your comfort zone as you move deeper into the pool, or start to type.

You take your time at first. You stay in the shallow end, maybe you hold someones hand -- in my Goddaughter's case that's me -- for a writer it may be a mentor, a writing book or a forum. The hand holder helps you. They build up your confidence and teach you some of the skills you need to learn to swim/write.

You practice. Sure you may swallow some water/ delete lots of words, but you don't give up. Over time you gain the confidence you need to push out on your own. Dip your head underwater/start a new idea. You gain strength. Keep yourself afloat.

Sure, the lifeguard/critique group is always there. Always watching, waiting to jump in and help if you need/ask for it. You know you are never alone.

But you are stronger. You are braver.

It won't happen overnight. It may take weeks, months even to learn to swim/write. But you never give up. Because practice makes perfect.

6 comments:

  1. Aww! This speaks me to me b/c I definitely feel like I still rely on that lifeguard/CPs. :) And also b/c my 4-yr-old is also learning to swim still and the other day he balanced on a kickboard while kicking and didn't need any help (except really close supervision), and that was awesome. Reminds me how we like to help new writers get through the same tough spots we went through.

    Always love your analogies!

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  2. I can fit that analogy directly to me. I learned to swim later than many people do and I put my thoughts to writing only after my children were born.

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  3. Love it! I'm starting to brave the deep end, but it sure is scary!

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  4. My 10-year-old screamed in water for years - and now he's a level 5 (our lessons only go to 6 before lifeguard training). YAY!! Good for you for introducing it to her!
    erica

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  5. hi miss lindsay! wow! cool stuff! i love swimming mostly cause im part fish. ha ha. for sure youre right cause the more you do it the better you get at it. and you could learn more skills like snorkeling and scuba and thats like more advance stuff for writing. hooray for swmming/writing.
    ...hugs from lenny

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  6. This is a really good post--very encouraging. And I totally agree. The best advice my writing mentors have given me was "dare to suck." Don't worry about whether something sounds "good" or "bad" when you're in the drafting phase of writing. So many people get discouraged when their writing doesn't seem perfectly polished at the first draft.

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