March 20, 2011

The Life Skills of Squirrels

When I was teaching, our team did a lot of work on Life Skills such as patience, perseverance, flexibility, creativity, and integrity. All of this comes in handy for a writer. The creativity, of course, starts everything going, but the other skills play an important part once the writing is done. It takes patience to search out the right markets, agents, editors. Perseverance means never giving up that marketing search, no matter how many rejections come. Once a writer's work is accepted, she must be flexible about changes that are often requested, but not so flexible as to feel that the integrity of the work and of the writer is being compromised. I'm glad I persevered to finish WASATCH SUMMER and find a home for it and flexible enough to change the title (originally HANNAH"S LEAP).

However, my life skill practice is minimal compared to a young squirrel who's been studying two bird feeders on our deck. He made many attempts to go from the cylindrical peanut feeder to the cattail feeder that holds sunflower hearts. Both of the feeders were nearly empty by the time he figured it out, but he persevered to the end.