It’s Okay to be a Late Bloomer

I still miss the Korean Dogwood that graced our old front yard. Every year it was the very last to bloom in our neighborhood. Long after the forsythia had turned from yellow to green and the cherry and apple trees had not only bloomed, but lost their blossoms, it still stood green, but flower-less. Then, just when folks began to wonder if it would ever bloom, out popped the creamiest four-petaled blossoms I’ve ever seen. Set against the dogwood’s thick foliage, the blossoms were so stunning, passersby often stopped to admire them.

I began my writing career in that house and that tree became an annual reminder that it’s okay to take your time learning and improving the craft. In fact, it’s better not to rush into subbing manuscripts until you’ve really honed your writing skills. When I look back at my earliest pieces, I’m amazed at how stilted, clumsy and rough they are. It has taken years of writing daily, reading, studying the craft, attending conferences, and participating in peer critique to develop into the writer I am today.

Writing is not a race to get published. Rather it’s a beautiful journey to be savored and enjoyed. So, enjoy the process and remember, it’s okay to bloom in your own time.

7 thoughts on “It’s Okay to be a Late Bloomer”

  1. Great post, Laura!

    I became interested in writing for kids when I had board-book-age kids of my own. I knew I wanted to try it someday. But I also knew I had been given a gift in my children that would vanish before my eyes if I didn’t really pay attention, if I wasn’t ever-present with them. So I waited to pick up my pencil until they were both in elementary school. Waiting to begin writing delayed my career by six years or so. But I wouldn’t have had it any other way. I wouldn’t trade one second of the challenges, joys, laughs, hugs and fun of my day-to-day experiences with my kids for anything, not even a book with my name on it. So these days when I’m frustrated with the pace of my writing career, I remember back a few years and know what I traded it for, and I’m happy. Instead of thinking of myself as a late blooming writer, I like to think I was a right-on-time mommy.


  2. Here’s to the journey!
    I was both an early and late bloomer, if this makes any sense. Either way I avoided standard perfect timetable, which is imaginary anyhow.
    Enjoyed your post.

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