I have two sons, Steve and Mike. Or, as I call them, Handsome Boy and Baby Boy. That takes a lot of guts since Steve is 43 and Mike 40. No one else would dare call them either name, but Mom somehow is allowed the honor. We use a lot of nicknames in our family. I'm Bahama Mama, for example.
Steve teaches 7th and 8th grade Language Arts and Social Studies. His title there is Teacher of the Year. As a 5th degree black belt holder in karate, his title in that arena is Master. He told me the other day over a phone call, he's had no behavior problems with his students this year. He's changed the way he teaches--the Socrates method. He also makes up rap songs with grammar rules in them. He plays his guitar, either electric or bass, and the kids sing along. Other teachers complain, but he tells them learning should never be quiet. It should be exciting. For every time, his class scores highest in the state in the tests, Steve tells them he'll get another tattoo. He has twelve so far and his students love that they "made" him get a new one. He also works as a body guard for the Redskin's cheerleaders. No inappropriate touching on his watch.
You can see why I try so hard as a writer. I need to impress my sons. Especially since I don't carry any initials after my name. But I'll confess to being depressed when I took a hard look at my age, the size of my reader base, and my sales numbers. I was never going to have the initials NYT's or USA's Best Seller after my name. I have to be happy with average; something I told my kids was never acceptable. "Anyone can be average. You have to try harder. Be better."
Well. it's not working for Mom. Better than average? Pfffftt.
You see, Mom didn't think about natural abilities. But as a writer, I have to think about mine. For one, I can't decide what sub-genre of romance I want to write. Contemporary? Romantic Suspense? Paranormal? Second, I have my own style and not everyone likes it. Normally I use humor. Then there are times humor doesn't work in a story. Sometimes I want to write suspense. Just simple suspense....and I laugh as I use the word "simple." Suspense means a lot of planning and guess who has never outlined a book?
My writing style isn't improving and that bothers me. My style is changing and that kind of frightens me. Because what if I'm not any better writing in a new way than I've been composing sentences in my old style? Average isn't good enough with the written word. I feel like I'm living outside the box even if I don't know where the box is stored.