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May 6, 2009

Baby Steps

My second son is learning to walk. (I wish he would learn to crawl first, but he's stubborn. Clearly, this is something he gets from his father!) There's nothing more humbling than watching the determination of a child learning to walk. He wobbles and falls. He steps and falls. He falls forward on his belly, he falls backward on his butt. He tips over to one side. No matter how or how many times he falls, though, he just giggles and grins and tries to take another step.

Who am I to complain about how hard it is to learn to do something right?

I also should keep in mind, when I am beta reading, that it wouldn't occur to me to chide my son for screwing up at this walking business. Beyond the occasional, "Whoops! Down you go!" I don't sit there pointing out all the things he's doing wrong. I just cheer him on when he gets it right.

I know the most powerful feedback is specific, positive feedback; this is something I need to remember when I give critiques. (I do promise to avoid cooing at my reading partners in high pitched nonsense babble.)

7 comments:

ban said...

i've got two little girls - great analogy :D

Litgirl01 said...

Point well taken! ;-) Great post!

sraasch said...

Awe! Good thing to remember! Thanks :)

lotusgirl said...

That helps me feel better that I'm constantly falling down with my writing. At least I'm still getting up and getting better.

beth said...

HAHA--yes, I don't think cooing would actually help in writing.

Lady Glamis said...

Yes, some positive would be nice. But all the advice you gave me was still fantastic. :)

Dal Jeanis said...

Tony Robbins asks the question, How many times do you let your toddler fall down trying to walk before you say, "that's it, time to give up?"You have to laugh, because the question doesn't even make sense. So, applying that back to your writing, or any other endeavor -- how long do you give yourself to learn how to ((fill in the blank))?

Just get up on them wobbly legs and get on with it.