I look at the various pictures pinned to the wall of my office and I can see how much I've changed over the years; not just physically, but in every way. I don't think the same way I used to think, and I certainly don't act the same. In many ways, I believe I've improved. I've grown in maturity, increased in wisdom and flourished in knowledge. In other ways I could use some reminders of first loves, fluttered emotions and youthful excitement. But, I'd never trade what I have now with what was. I'm not one of those people who wish they could go back because their glory days are behind them. On the contrary, I'm excited about what lay ahead of me - especially when it comes to my writing.
I love to write. I love to create new worlds, give life to new characters, and then watch as they grow, mature, conform and flourish. I find inspiration in their stories; a hope to overcome and succeed in my own story. I'd be lying if I told you that everything was always easy when it comes to exercising my skills. On the contrary, it's one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. It's a lot like parenting. I pour everything I have into my proverbial children, but they have their own lives and sometimes go in a direction I never wanted or intended. The wisdom I have in dealing with my latest children has matured greatly from the first.
Like many parents, I sometimes wish I could correct mistakes I made with my older children and manuscripts, and apply the new methods and understanding I've since gained. However, as it is with parenting and writing, I can't go back. What's done is done. What's published is published. All I can do is start from this point, apply my "now" wisdom to the current situation and state of things, and make different choices/changes/corrections. Reconciliation is never off the table. I only lack wisdom - and wisdom can be gained.
I'm proud and sincerely love every story I've ever written, no matter how full of flaws they contain. The same goes for my children. In my 40 years of existence I've learned a few things, picked up a few skills, tested the waters more times than I can count, and I'm satisfied with the knowledge that I did my best. My efforts may not have been THE best, but they were MY best.
I've come a long way as a writer and as mother. I still have a lot to learn about both, but I'm determined to enjoy the journey along the way.