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.