Sometimes, I find myself frustrated by the slow progress of my writing. After all, I’ve been writing for X number of years–shouldn’t I be a pro at this by now? (Or at least, better than I actually am?) I especially feel like this in regards to creative writing, which I took up seriously earlier this year after a long hiatus (school, dissertation, kids).
Then this afternoon, I listened to my five-year-old son throw a tantrum. He’d read a book about juggling, so he picked up a golf ball and tried to “juggle.” (That is, throw the ball in the air with one hand and catch it with the other.)
Approximately two minutes in, he started to cry. “Why can’t I do this?”
I reminded him–repeatedly–that he couldn’t expect to master something in a matter of minutes. All talents and abilities take time to develop.
Then I listened to myself, and realized I needed the reminder as much as he did.
As the quote from Ira Glass on our sidebar suggests, writing takes a long time to master (sometimes a lifetime). Instead of feeling frustrated by my shortcomings, I should look at how far I’ve come, and use that difference as motivation to keep writing.