Facing Reality and Rejection–With Help From a Six-Year Old.

When first pregnant, I attacked parenting the same way I’ve dived into writing.

Buy books full of conflicting advice, read blogs with real world advice to put the books in perspective, attend critique sessions/childbirth classes.

While a helpful strategy, it only got me so far. With pregnancy, about the first two minutes of labor.

Then reality hit.

And kept hitting.

My first reality check as a parent came two weeks after the whirlwind of pain, sleep deprivation, and swollen boobs that is the peri-partum period: Baby is finally eating well, but suddenly won’t stop crying all night long.

Congratulations! You’ve got a perfectly healthy baby boy with colic.

I think I’ve reached the same point as a writer. There hasn’t been a sudden change; no, my boobs haven’t gotten any bigger, and my kids aren’t crying (any more than usual). Neither am I, despite the rejection letters piling up.

But I’m approaching a year of “doing this”, and I’m feeling like:

Oh my gosh. This is what it’s going to be like EVERY DAY.

It’s like being pregnant all over again (and what a terrifying, soul-searching thought that is).

This is my life. This is my life as a writer. It is relentless. It is every day. I have written approximately 150,000 words. And so far, I have earned a sum total of $10 doing it (thank you, Mad Scientist Journal).

Sounds a lot like parenting, except the daily spit-up and diapers are replaced by form rejection letters. And the personalized rejection letters are like the handwritten notes I now get from my daughter:


(As an example of her learning to write, I cherish it. But…)

So I’m facing my reality check, and I’m taking lessons from both writing and parenting.

What would my daughter do? Write me another letter!


(Translation: “Worst mother ever that is horrible.” Compared to that from the child of my VERY LOINS, what’s a measly rejection letter?)

What would my main character do? Make a grappling gun out of binder clips and duct tape. Eat more bacon. Never give up.

There are worse ways to face reality.


3 thoughts on “Facing Reality and Rejection–With Help From a Six-Year Old.

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