Since this blog just celebrated its fifth year anniversary,  I thought I’d celebrate by re-posting one my favorite entries from year one.  That seven year old is now twelve!  And like her, I still like to keep several horses in my writerly stable. How about you? Enjoy!

After school, instead of walking home, my seven-year-old has taken to riding — horseback riding, that is. She alternates between two imaginary horses — Cupcake and Sugar Pea. Her horses trot and canter. They gallop and run like the wind.

Actually, that’s not quite true. Cupcake runs like the wind. Sugar Pea is a little slower. She prefers to stop and smell the clover. Cupcake, by contrast, loves jumping over imaginary fences, the wind whipping at her mane. Their styles are so different, I never have to ask my daughter which horse she’s chosen. I just say, “Wow, Cupcake’s fast!” or “What does Sugar Pea think of the lilacs?”

I’m a lot like my daughter. I write best when I have at least two projects going at once. For example, right now I’m working on two very different picture books, several poems and a handful of blog posts. And, just as my daughter alternates ponies, based on mood, I alternate projects, based on interest, deadlines, or variety. Not only does this keep my writing fresh, it allows the pieces I’m not working on to rest, so that I can return to them with new eyes.

Keeping several horses in the stable, keeps me energized and happy as a writer. It also reduces writer’s block because I always have something in process. If one piece isn’t working, I simply take out another horse for the day. What about you? Are you a one-horse writer or do you prefer to keep several horses in your stable?


8 thoughts on “HAPPY BLOG ANNIVERSARY: Cupcake and Sugar Pea

  1. Laura, I am definitely a multiple horse writer too. There’s too much jumping around in my brain to focus on one thing exclusively. And I agree with you that it keeps things fresh. Great analogy. Thanks for sharing!

    • I don’t know about you, but I think this strategy also works for me because of my writing setting – I write from home while homeschooling and taking care of a family – so my writing time chunks are smaller and it’s somehow refreshing and energizing to have a couple of pieces to work on. Happy writing, Tiffany!

  2. Glad you reposted this, so I got to read it. I’m one who has difficulty working on more than one first draft at a time. Revising is not the issue. But first drafting is immersion in the story world and, well, I’m already managing (sort of) two worlds there: the everyday life and the story’s.
    Love your then seven-year-old and her mind-ponies. I wonder if she remembers them now, and how she feels about these old friends who helped her move forward.

  3. I am primarily working on a memoir, which pushes both my writing skills and also my emotions! Last month, I discovered a contest for 1500-word fiction stories (something that I haven’t written before), and jumped in on it. I had fun creating the novel characters, and came back to the memoir unstuck and ready to write again. I also enjoy writing short poems and posting on Instagram as a quick break~trying to do that once a week for now.
    Children remind us of the best roads to creativity!

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