Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The things you learn from butt bruises

On New Year’s Eve, I went ice skating with my gentleman friend and his two offspring. It was the kids' first time gliding over a frozen surface with blades on their feet and a desperate urge to avoid brain damage.

We all escaped major injury, though there were a few bumps and bruises and a possible case of butt frostbite. (I may have lied about the butt frostbite. It’s an excellent way to solicit warm, soothing butt caresses).

When it was all over and everyone was settled down with steaming mugs of cocoa, my gentleman friend checked with the two youngsters to see how they’d enjoyed the experience.

“We loved it!” they chorused. “But falling isn’t very fun.”

No, he agreed. Falling isn’t very fun.

And yes, he probably could have caught them or spent the evening propping them up so their well-padded backsides never hit the ice.

“But sometimes, falling is how you learn best,” he said. “It’s the way you figure out how to balance and stop and get back up and get moving again.”

I’m not sure if the message resonated with the kids, who were engrossed in determining whether gummy bears float in cocoa.

But it sure made sense to me.

My road to publication was a bumpy one. There were harsh rejections from publishers and agents, a canceled book deal, an agent relationship that didn’t work out, and two long years during which my current agent probably wondered why the hell she signed an author whose manuscripts prompted editors to say, “she’s funny, but there’s no market for this.”

I’m not vain enough to suggest we got the last laugh with our three-book deal for romantic comedies, and I’m also not delusional enough to suggest I won’t fall on my butt a whole lot more in my writing career. 

But I’m infinitely grateful for those butt bruises. They’re how I’ve learned the most about writing and publishing and editing and querying and the surprising depths of my own resilience. 

They’re how I know that whether I become an international bestseller, or leave readers asking, “Tawna who?” I’m going to be just fine.

What have you learned from falling that you couldn’t have figured out by gliding along in perfect form? Please share!

And feel free to rub my butt in a soothing manner. It’s what friends do for each other.


LynnRush said...

Yep, those butt bruises are a part of things. Makes us stronger in my opinion. Awesome post!

CaroleM said...

I've learned that falling (mostly) won't kill you. Without a spectacular wreck now and then you won't truly know your own limits or be able to grow. And it's the disasters that make a good story afterwards. ;-)

Anonymous said...

Try playing hockey! A broken leg and a concussion and I'm still going back for more! Anyway, we do learn a lot from butt bruises. The biggest thing I've learned is that the only way to get better at something is to consistently do it. The key is consistent. You can't get better if you only do something every so often.

Kristina L. Martin said...

Yay for butt bruises! ;)

Candyland said...

Oh, Lord, Tawna. I've fallen so many times, my butt has an automatic cushion response. I've learned to get the hell back up. No matter what.

Matthew MacNish said...

Candace is actually well protected, because she always has her fartypants.


Seriously though? Making mistakes is the shizz. You learn so much more from doing it wrong than you ever do from doing it right.

Lisa Ahn said...

I've fallen a lot this year, but I'm still hobblin' along, butt bruises and all. My best "cushion" is celebrating the chance to learn. Hooray for butt bruises. And chocolate.