by Dana Mentink
Consider the humble ladybug, fellow readers and writers. She’s less than a quarter of an inch long, silent and stoic and more than likely unnoticed in your yard. Truth be told, she’s a powerhouse, a dynamic dame that can teach us a lot about the wild and wacky world of writing. Let’s take a moment to look at some powerful lessons we can learn from these tiny ladies.
Number one: Be productive in moving towards your writing goals. Oh I know, you’ve only got two hands to juggle your job, children, marriage, pets, mortgage, et cetera and you’re multitasking as fast as you can. There’s simply no time for writing in your life. Think about that eentsy insect, no bigger than your finger, that can crank out 1000 eggs in a short two year life span. How do they do that while scrounging up aphids, preparing to hibernate and avoiding hungry birds? Ladybugs are very focused (and not at all distracted by Facebook, Twittering and texting.) Take an hour and write 1000 words a day. Too many? Okay, how about 500? You can do it. It’s GOT to be easier than laying 1000 eggs, no?
Number Two: Grow and change. If only we hatched out of the womb with the genius of DaVinci and Wordworth’s perfect prose. Alas. We start out as rough little buggers, spooling out the beginning products of a writing career that must grow and change over time. That beautiful red bug grew out of something much less attractive, let me tell you. In writing, as in life, there is metamorphosis, a process (one I hope my dear readers understand when they go back and read my first few books!) I read the fabulous Harlan Coben’s first book and you know what? It was good, but it wasn’t as amazing as his current works because he’s grown as an author. How inspiring!
Number Three: Small creatures can accomplish fantastic things. God made us small and weak but He also gave us each a gift to change our part of the world. With your words, you can touch people far away, with only black print on a white page. I’ll bet you’d never think the lowly ladybug would be part of a space shuttle mission. That’s exactly what happened in 1999 when Ladybugs John, Paul, Ringo and George zoomed into space along with a boatload of aphids on a NASA space shuttle. Know what? The ladybugs did what they were made to do and ate those aphids without the aid of gravity. Power to the little creatures (ourselves included!)
Dana Mentink is a resident of California where the weather is golden and the cheese is divine. She writes for Harlequin and River North. Her most recent titles are Shock Wave, Love Inspired Suspense and Jungle Fire. A two time Carol Award finalist for romantic suspense, she has been honored with a Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award. She shares her writing den with a husband, two children and a dog with social anxiety problems.