With each new contract, I seem to go into I-don't-believe-it mode. Old insecurities, I suppose. Even so, I never lose the wonderment that someone likes what I write. For, in an odd way, with every contract I doubt my writing abilities even more. Why is that?
A few days ago, a writer friend asked me to read a few of her chapters to double check the strength of her hero's motivation. I read her work in awe. The descriptions, the emotions, the comedic timing were a lesson...a lesson prompting me to go back and redo everything I'd written on my current WIP. I love it when that happens. You see I fear growing stagnant. I fear going backwards in skill--if that's possible. I love being surrounded by talent. Talent propels us to do better. To examine. To grow. To shine.
My grandson taught me a bit of that over the weekend. Ryan, who was born on my 50th birthday, is a scholar athlete. A high school wrestler who gets all A's, even though he's taking honors courses. Guitar is his new favorite instrument with his trumpet running a close second. He's been wrestling on a summer league. Few kids want to spend their vacations doing conditioners and drilling new moves...only those who are truly into the sport. Hard core. Talented. Skilled. Being around them has improved his moves on the mat, his concentration and his out-put.
He also claims it's bolstered his confidence. Gee, I could use a touch of that.
Ryan works out every day. I write every day. He sacrifices time with this friends to spend time doing drills on the mat, just as I sometimes miss out on lunch with the girls to finish a chapter. He runs through moves with other wrestlers, paying close attention to the movement of each muscle, while I read good authors to study what about their writing draws me in. We both want to grow, to improve, to excel. It's in our genes.