There’s a wasp building a nest outside my window. He’s been hard at work since late yesterday afternoon, gathering dirt one grain at a time, and slowly moulding it all into a home for himself. He started work yesterday evening and by this morning looked to be nearly finished.
Then my mum knocked it down.
This wasp could have said to himself, “oh dear, someone’s knocked down all my hard work. I might as well give up – if I try to start over someone will just knock it down again”.* But no. The wasp is there again, slowly starting to rebuild his nest.
Resilient little brute.
Now, I hate wasps. Not as much as spiders, but wasps are up there with the rest of the insect world. They’re creepy, with stingers, evil eyes, and pincers. I mean, can you imagine if they were a hundred times bigger and could easily take on Fido? Don’t tell me you wouldn’t pee yourself if the Mega Wasp suddenly started eying you off while it was paralysing Rex to feed its unborn larvae.
|This isn't the wasp outside my window, but you get the point.|
Anyway, I hate wasps, but when it comes to resilience, we writers can learn a lot from them. When we get a rejection letter, or a bad critique, or just encounter someone who wants to be rude, we shouldn’t say, “oh dear, someone’s knocked all my hard work. I might as well give up – if I try to start over someone will just knock it again”.
Rather, we should be like wasps and keep going. Each rejection, each bad critique will sting, but a good writer will get back up and keep on going. Because if we keep going, eventually people are going to stop knocking down our houses
So that’s today’s thoughts. Your turn now: for the comments, let me know what you think about wasps and writers. Do you think there are any other animals writers could learn from?
* Actually, he probably would have said “Bzzz bzzz bzzz bzzz. Bzzz bzzz bzzz – bzzz bzzz bzzz” but it’s simpler to have the English translation.