It’s a little surreal when your child and you are having the exact same problem. Kavi was having trouble finishing her homework today, and when I investigated, it turned out that she’d been assigned to write a sad story, at least six paragraphs, with lots of details, and as she said, “all the details make it even sadder!” She does not WANT to write a sad story. She had gotten five paragraphs in, and then started crying with frustration, so I had her take a break for a while.
I tried to tell Kavi that writing sad bits would be a useful skill for her in future stories she chose to write on her own, and that she wouldn’t have to make those stories sad overall if she didn’t want to, but that didn’t really soothe her.
What did make Kavya laugh was when I explained that I had a story that I needed to edit, and that I had planned to do it early this morning, but had, in fact, been avoiding it all day, because my editor wanted me to write some things differently than I had originally written them. And that I had gotten a lot of laundry and organizing of the basement done as a result, but I was basically to the point where I really couldn’t put it off anymore.
I’m still not sure that consoled Kavi much, but at least she was amused that mommy was facing pretty much the exact same problem she was. And now, I am making my edits, and she is finishing her story, and we are both trying to have faith that, in fact, the end result will be worthwhile, and that our teachers / editors know what they’re doing.
I have a lot of practice with this, from twenty-plus years of being edited, and in fact, editors do usually make the story better, in my experience.
But oh, the artist’s heart resists! Our words, our precious words!