All Grown Up
By Cait Collins
This past Sunday, I had the privilege of attending my nephew’s junior violin recital. A.J. is music major at West Texas A&M University and plays in the University’s symphony orchestra. I have attend his concerts, but this is the first time I’ve heard him play solo since he began playing the violin in grade school. His music brought tears to my eyes. Just watching him was a treat. There was magic in the play of his fingers over the strings at the instrument’s neck and in the changing angles of the bow’s movement across the body of violin. For about forty-five minutes, he welcomed us into his world. I was enchanted.
During the post recital reception I asked my brother-in-law if he ever thought Twinkle Little Star sounding like a dying cat would become so beautiful. He shook his head. Maybe we didn’t know, but A.J. did. He worked at his music, learning not only the violin, but also dabbling with the keyboard, cello, guitar, base, and French horn. He sacrificed play time to practice and learn music. He earned the accolades he received from family, friends, future in-laws, and fellow students.
A writer’s journey is similar to the musician’s. Our first stories are rough. Sometimes they make little sense. Yet, if we were lucky, we have a mom and dad who read scribbled messes and praise the efforts. They walk the path with us, encouraging and correcting until we can step out on our own. We have a support group as we hone our craft and submit our first works to agents and editors. They watch our documentaries and act as beta readers for our novels.
While loved ones support us, they cannot give us the passion required to continue the journey. That passion must come from inside us. We succeed because we want it, desire it, and work for it. Talent plays a role in success, but even talented writers must invest the time and discipline required to rise to the top. Sacrifice is required. Work ethic is a must. Our futures as writers are mainly in our hand. We must put the words on paper, write the query letters, and submit the work. Nobody will do the work for us.
I am definitely proud of my nephew. I celebrate his success. But I also applaud my writer friends who are on their way to successful careers. They have earned my respect and congratulations.