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Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Writing Inspiration From My Seven-Year-Old Daughter



My kids remind me of the lessons in life that sometimes are hard when you live through them, but wonderful when you can learn from them and then reflect back at how far you’ve come.  My seven-and-a-half-year-old daughter experienced one of those lessons recently.

She was struggling to ride her bike free of training wheels.  We’d removed the training wheels last year but she never quite got herself to ride more than a few feet without tilting to one side and then halting out of a fear of falling.

The fear of falling and failing is very real and quite understandable.  But the wiser adult – I guess that’s me – knows that if she just lets herself take a leap of faith and peddle through the fear, she will just ride and ride and put the concept of falling to the back of her brain.

We hadn’t tried riding most of this summer.  Each time we’d raise the idea, she’d just put us off, letting her concerns gnaw at her.  She didn’t have the feeling of accomplishment to counter it.  She didn’t know the bliss she could feel once she allowed one-foot to go in front of another, repetitively.

She only knew of failure.  And by repeating that doom-and-gloom scenario in her head and on her bike, that’s all that she knew from.

But, then one magical evening in the middle of August, I took her to a nearby park and suggested we try again.

She gave it her best but kept throwing her leg off the peddle so she could brace herself for a fall that wasn’t coming until she created it.

I held onto her bicycle by the seat, pushed her while running a few feet, and then let her go, but she’d repeat her flawed attempt with the same result.

Then my son tried to help, but to no avail.

I tried holding her handlebars upfront, giving her a head start, hoping she’d stay balanced and then ride on.

It came close but it failed too.  She was programmed to fall short, repeating bad moves she’d learned from previous fear-filled, anxiety-laced attempts.

I wondered if she’d ever get it. The bike was fine and her mechanics would be sound if she just let herself succeed.  She had to change one thing – the moment she felt inclined to put her foot down to catch herself from falling would have to change to become a moment that she peddles harder and lets the momentum carry her upright.

And then it happened.

She did it.  Tears drying up from past shortfalls, her cheeks now puffed out as the result of a smile.  She was doing it, one foot in front of the other, the bike moving forward and upright.

Oh, my!  We clapped and yelled support for her.  My son and I were proud of her.  She had crossed a line she’d never have to cross again.

She repeated her success several times that night and as darkness fell upon us she was shining as bright as the moon.  She knew she’d accomplished something special.  Determination and the will to succeed made this moment possible.

Writers, too, must overcome their mental blocks, shortcomings, and challenges  Finding time to write, research, edit, and concentrate is one battle for writers. Having the confidence to succeed is another.  Being creative on command is also a challenge.  Whatever fears or concerns writers must overcome, they can do it.

My daughter overcame her bicycling fear and then once something clicked it was as if she could see in color when she’d only known of a black and white world. W hen we can find a way to cross our greatest challenge, we get to experience our greatest joy.

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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2015

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