Okay, so arm floaties are no substitute for learning to swim. BUT, they can keep you buoyant enough to save your life...
Keep you afloat when you'd otherwise sink, which is very nice of them.
No, I'm not actually writing about floaties today. You got me. *hands in surrender above my head* It's another writing metaphor.
Learning to swim is the writer's long journey toward publication.
It takes time. You can't just jump into the water and know how to do it (unless you're a five-month-old baby, but that's a different set of reflexes). It takes practice (writing chapter after chapter and book after book), technique refining (beta readers, critique partners, in-depth revision, editing), and patience (sometimes the agent pool is closed for the whole month of August).
But luckily nobody expects you to jump into the pool and win an Olympic medal in the 100m Butterfly.
You get to start with floaties. And later on, when you're exhausted, you can put them back on for a bit, too.
My writing floaties are compliments.
They don't save me the trouble of learning to swim, no way! I'd be eaten alive if I tried to swim away from sharks in a set of floaties. I still need to learn my craft, and learn it well. Bobbing along in the kiddie pool for a few hours doesn't mean I'm ready for the ocean-- and just because my mom says I'm an amazing writer, doesn't mean I'm ready for publication (she does say that, by the way!) but it definitely helps me to stay above water.
So when somebody hands you the floaties, thank them graciously, but try swimming without them. In no time at all, you'll be a real swimmer.
Thank you to my regular floaties-distributors: Angie, Lindsay, Amparo, Kristal, Kelly, Michelle, and MOM!
And a special thank you to the mystery "publishing pro" on WeBook.com who gave my first five pages a high rating on PageToFame today. It seriously made my day. Now I'm off to swim laps in an Olympic size pool (but not because I have anything to prove or anything).