Monday, February 13, 2017

Maturing Writers

By Peter Leavell +Peter Leavell @peterleavell

A few years ago, after bedtime, my daughter would come into our room. Sometimes she was scared. Or she needed a drink. As she grew, she wanted to talk about God. Other nights, life was getting her down.

At the time, I was tired. The half-awake chats were a bit frustrating. But now, I miss those days.

She’s matured to age 13. As I kiss her goodnight, I know she’ll probably work out her problems herself and I’ll receive a decent night’s sleep. No more visits, unless the problem is extreme.

Of course, I’ll be there for her.

In one way, I’ve worked myself out of a job. Which lends itself to a manifest of churning emotions.

Beginning writers need help. They come out of their writing caves with little idea what the world holds. They turn to those with more experience, those with who have lived more writing life.

That’s good. That’s how it’s done.

Eventually, the beginner will mature.

I’ve noticed some who don’t go past writing childhood. Some are fearful of the next stage of maturity and remain where they are. Others receive terrible advice and when followed, their growth is hampered. And some enjoy the status of beginner.

That’s okay. Our advice, as best as we can give, is only as good as the work we’ve done—how mature we are. And we keep changing. Because we keep studying. We keep learning. We continue looking for more advanced writers to get advice.

We’re working ourselves out of writing parenthood. But there’s so many more children to care for!

All this is terribly obvious. But there's two points.

Keep maturing. Keep studying. Keep looking for help and keep helping. 

Writers are a family. Every day, we're looking out for one another. Pssst, you used the wrong word here. Hey, you do a great job with titles. Can I get some help with something? Critics don't get our work, so it's okay. We care for one another!

Thanks for being part of this amazing family!

Peter Leavell, a 2007 graduate of Boise State University with a degree in history, was the 2011 winner of Christian Writers Guild's Operation First Novel contest, and 2013 Christian Retailing's Best award for First-Time Author. Peter and his family live in Boise, Idaho. Learn more about Peter's books, research, and family adventures at