Friday, February 12, 2016

Where's the GPS?

I'm convinced that GPS was invented just for me. Seriously, I did not get the direction gene. I have been known to get lost leaving the examination room at the doctor's office trying to find my way back to the lobby - even with signs clearly marked "LOBBY" in bold, black letters. I once had only two turns to make taking one of my kids to a friend's house, and I missed both turns. Yeah.

If I had a penny for every time someone told me, "Oh, it's easy. You won't get lost," and then I got lost, I would be living...well, not where I am.

Writing has also been, for me, a navigational challenge. I entered the world of writers much like I entered the world of parenting - with no experience, but with a whole lot of hope and trepidation. Like parenting, writing is an adventure, a learning experience with each new phase of growth. And like a toddler, I've stumbled and tripped and fell while learning to walk on these writing legs. It's tricky business walking on inexperienced legs. Fortunately, writers, like toddlers, are stubborn persistent. They don't often take no for an answer, and they plow ahead undeterred.

With every step, walking quickly turns from instability to surefooted confidence. Each step I've taken in the land of writing has likewise produced greater assurance of proficiency. I've missed a few turns and taken a couple wrong exits, but I'm figuring it out. Cruising to critique group meet-ups is a monthly highlight I enjoy. (And, yes, I still need the GPS to get there!) The navigating system also comes in handy when attending writing conferences, I might add.

Travelling into writing territory leaves me longing for a time when I won't need the GPS. I look forward to the day when I won't feel like a lost child or a new student in the class. I hope to soon feel as if I really belong in this world of authors instead of feeling like an impostor. I like to think that I will eventually master the route, knowing where the turns and on-ramps are. In the meantime, I am certain of this:

Embracing change isn't easy, but I am thankful for the road signs along the way. Critique groups, writing conferences, and other writer friends are the map markers. They are the GPS that enables me to keep going even though the road curves unexpectedly. They are the ones who redirect when I've hit a dead end. I want, of course, to take the direct route, travel the shortest distance, but that's not always possible. Sometimes the only way to get to point B is to travel the winding roads. Though I'm typically not a fan of the scenic route, I'm learning to admire the scenery, to soak up the beauty along the way. This trip in the writer's world is an adventure, for sure. Adventures inherently hold change, for it is change that makes the adventure! And with that, I'm off to find my GPS. Next stop? I'll keep you posted.