Mother’s Day Confessions

Last night I shot my children. 

I loaded my Nerf guns, pulled down my goggles and declared war.  For almost an hour, all my boys (DH included) and I shot up the house and each other. 

I know, some of you are gasping, “My children will never play with guns.” 

Here’s the confession.  Once upon a time, I said the same thing.  Before my oldest was born, I was determined that we would not have play guns in the house. 

Funny thing about parenthood: it’s a lot of trial and error and sometimes things don’t turn out how we planned.

When Oldest, at the mere age of 13 months, bit his toast, pointed it at the dog and went, “Phew!  Phew!”, I knew this particular battle was lost.

You can’t fight imagination and creativity.  So I did what all good moms do next.  Modified my rules.  Guns, but no pointing them at people.  Walls, monsters, stuffed animals.  No people.  Period.

For the most part, that worked well.  I learned a valuable lesson from my eldest: sometimes it’s okay to rewrite. 

There has been a lot of talk on forums and blogs about rewriting to please an agent/editor that may or may not already rep you.  Some writers are willing to take every suggestion as gospel and rework their entire manuscripts without considering the impact on them or their story.  Others take feedback into consideration and use what works for them and their stories.  And still others refuse to change their manuscripts based on another perspective. 

What I disliked about the idea of guns, was the perpetuation of violence.  Some may say I forfeited my ideals when I said, “Monsters not people.”  But I’m a realist.  If, at 13 months old, Eldest was firing his Toast Pistol, his Lego Ooozie and his Lincoln Log Shotgun, I didn’t have a prayer of keeping him from this boyhood need.

So, I compromised.  I kept my value system in tact and taught Eldest responsibility, while explaining my reasonings behind the gun rules.

Manuscripts can be edited to accommodate constructive feed back.  In fact, this can be a very healthy process if you know why you are rewriting and to what purpose. 

It is when we give in to the pressure regardless of our mindset (Ach, let him shoot anything he wants.) that we sell out.  Or, when we are so stubborn we refuse to change (Forbidden objects often become obsessed about.) that we can write ourselves into a losing battle.

Parenthood as all about flexibility (you should have seen the dive behind the couch I made to avoid getting a Nerf bullet to the bum.)  So is writing.

Enjoy the journey, keep your values and work with those around you.  I promise you will get more out of life that way.

Happy Mother’s Day!

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6 responses to “Mother’s Day Confessions

  1. It’s definitely a balancing act on all fronts – writing, parenting, marriage…

    Perfecting is an urban myth, you can get close, real close, but in the end it’s probably best to realize life is a bit of give and take.

    Great post! (Hugs)Indigo

    • Indigo,

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting. You are so right when you say life is a balancing act. Some days I am just thankful not to get bumped off the teeter totter!

      ~Cat

  2. Cat,
    You write wonderfully and you are an inspiration to me. Keep writing. Your day will come. One day.
    As far as you written piece,’ take out what is not the story (Stephen’s King’s direct advice). Editors reject your piece for all kings of reasons–the quality of your wring is not often the main reason. Seek the proper editor who will appreciate your written piece. Editors reject you for all kinds of reason: Never ever write to fit someone formulated published work. You lose your integrity(and honesty) of your piece,. That is what readers are looking for–something to relate to–who you really are. I hope this helps.

    • Thanks, Siggy. I hope your words are true, but until then, we can only keep writing in a way that keeps our integrity as writers. At least that’s my ultimate goal–that and a book deal : )

      Take care~ Cat

  3. Aw, we all know Nerf guns don’t count. 😉 They are just fun.

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