I had a baby two weeks ago. He is the most adorable baby boy in the history of reproduction—at least his father and I think so. Ever since Riley has graced our lives, I’ve had the overwhelming desire to launch myself back into my characters and stories. Perhaps it is because the pregnancy fog in which I was floundering has finally lifted. Perhaps because I feel more rested now than I did during my entire pregnancy (isn’t it supposed to be the other way around?).
Regardless, I’m loving checking back in with my characters and seeing where I left them. I even enjoy typing with my right hand while the little guy sleeps in my left arm. For me, he is inspiration. And he listens—I tell him all about my characters when I breastfeed. He listens as I read a paragraph over again for the twentieth time because I just can’t get it right. He is the perfect writing partner.
Riley is a reminder that writing is not a solitary endeavor—at least not for me. I know there are people who type away happily in seclusion; I used to be one of them. And I was happy while I was typing away because I love writing. But my satisfaction was never complete. Joining writing groups was the best that I ever did for myself as a writer. It transformed me from a typist into an artist. Critiques have pushed me to write better, to go deeper, and to test my abilities.
What has pushed you to become a better writer?