The toddler goddaughter loves water. She used to hate it, and I mean screaming hate it, until about three months ago. Now 'splash splash Auntie' is her favourite bath time game when she comes to stay (my friend only has a shower at her house). So with her being more comfortable in water now I'm starting to take the monkey swimming a bit more.
She's an independent little girl and, despite her age, always tries to let go of my hands when she's in the shallow pool (even though I don't let her - I'm a soft touch, not insane. lol) But her confidence always makes me smile.
And it got me thinking about writing (come on, you knew I'd take this to some writing level. heehee). Leaning to write and learning to swim are very similar.
There's the trepidation of dipping your toe in the pool or, in the writers case, the idea. The rush of cold shocking your body from your comfort zone as you move into the pool, or start to type.
You take your time at first. You stay in the shallow end, maybe you hold someones hand (in my Goddaughter's case that's me) -- for a writer it may be a mentor, a writing book, a forum. The hand holder helps you. They build up your confidence and teach you some of the skills you need to learn to swim/write.
You practice. Sure you may swallow some water/ delete lots of words, but you don't give up. Over time you gain the confidence you need to push out on your own. Dip your head underwater/start a new idea. You gain strength. Keep yourself afloat.
Sure, the lifeguard/crit group, mentor, writing book is always there. Always watching, waiting to jump in and help if you need/ask for it. You know you are never alone.
But you are stronger. You are braver.
It won't happen overnight. It may take weeks, months even to learn to swim/write. But you never give up. Because practice makes perfect.