Monday, June 11, 2012

Having Poison Ivy is A Lot Like Being a Writer


Kidlet #1 managed to get one of the most severe cases of poison ivy I’ve ever seen. His right eye was swollen shut and walking was painful due to the rash covering the back of his legs. He missed three baseball games and a pool party. Needless to say, we’ve been home a lot the last week. Thank goodness we’re on the recovery end of this ordeal and with plans to basically kill our entire yard to ensure we don’t have a repeat occurrence in the works, I’ve been thinking about how having poison ivy is a lot like being a writer.

1.       Like poison ivy, once writing gets under your skin, it’s impossible to ignore. Even if you’re stumped on where your story goes or you’re on “hiatus”, you can’t stop thinking about it. Everything you see or experience is fodder for future works.

2.       A bad case of poison ivy requires a prescription of steroids, much in the same way that being a writer requires massive amounts of caffeine, though the delivery method varies from person to person.

3.       In order to handle the itching of poison ivy, we’ve had to apply countless layers of hydrocortisone for days on end, kinda in the same way I go about rewriting/revisions: one pass at a time until I have all the plot issues worked out.

4.       When it’s a kidlet that has poison ivy, the situation requires patience on the part of the mom… me, much like the patience I must show when waiting in alpha readers, beta readers and agents. Getting frustrated only makes the situation worse.

5.       When progress is made and the rash is finally under control, it makes me think of how I feel when I realize the book is as good as I can possibly make it: relief followed by the realization that it’s time to get back to the real world and figure out what’s next.

And that’s it. I know it’s a short post and perhaps one of my less insightful ones… did I mention I’ve been dealing with a whining, poison ivy infested six year old for a week? Did I forget to mention Kidlet #2 has complained about not getting together because of Kidlet #1 since Friday? This would be why it’s short and sweet. At least I’m posting. I count it as a win! No matter what challenges fall on your path, BE PASSIONATE about possibilities that wait for you as you make your way around them.

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