by Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraig
She’s taking weekly lessons and is attending horse camp at different weeks over the summer.
It’s a bit like hell’s kitchen here in the South this summer (and in other parts of the States, too.) Hotter than usual in North Carolina. We’d usually have temps in the low 90s for July, but they’ve been around 100F most days.
And my daughter is out in the heat wearing a helmet, boots, and long pants.
She was trotting around one of the riding rings in full riding attire in the sun on the day it reached 105 F. in the shade. I wasn’t convinced it was safe (despite what the camp thought), so I did the typical mommy hovering thing— leaning over the fence and handing her a damp washcloth and a water bottle whenever I could. And then hustling her off into air conditioning at the first available opportunity. This particular heat wave has been known to kill.
Another mom chatted with me as we stood in the shade in our shorts and sleeveless shirts. “How is your daughter handling the heat here this week?” she asked me.
I said, “She loves it. She said she’d stay here at the barn all day every week if she could.”
“She’ll stick with it then, for life. Kids like that always do,” the mom said.
And I just don’t get the horse fixation. I don’t get the flies or the shoveling of horse poop or the large animals who intimidate me a bit. I don’t get the combing, grooming, and washing of the horses or all the tack care. But I’m happy to make these things happen for my daughter, who loves them all.
The other mom’s words struck a chord in me. Yes, just like my daughter’s determination to ride, most writers stick with their writing obsession, too. Similar to my not understanding my daughter’s fascination with horses, most writers’ family and friends don’t get our love of writing. Except, instead of flies and poop and constant grooming, those close to us see isolation, rejection, poor reviews, and low pay.
Some qualities of writers who stick with it:
Stubbornness and/or determination
Love of writing
Thick skin or ability to ignore or easily absorb criticism
Insuppressible creativity...a habit of looking at the world through a writer’s lens
What qualities can you add?