Learning from each story
I finished writing a story, a fairy tale called The Waking Prince. And when you finish something, you can turn around and look back at where you started.
I had never written a fairy tale before. I began by rereading the fairy tales that I loved, to remind myself of what I most loved about fairy tales. I had to experiment with ideas. More than once, I had to listen to the wisdom of the workshop’s editor elf. Why, now that I think about it, the designer elf also gave me a bit of important story advice. Now that I think about it, the illustrator elf had a few suggestions, too!
At one point, I rewrote the whole story in an entirely different voice.
It was not easy to create this story, however, I learned many things along the way. Truthfully, stories are where we learn, and wrestling with a story often brings about the most learning.
And what about the end of the journey, when a story is all done? There is no better feeling. Not even an acre of hot fudge sundae with plump red cherries rained down all over it will give you as happy a feeling as finishing a story that you worked hard on and grew to admire.
New idea: As you write a story and as frustrations arise, bear in mind that struggling with difficult parts leaves you with new skills. And, when you finish a story, turn around and look back. Pause to appreciate what you made.