Caterpillar Stage of an Author
You are being born as you collect yourself and gather your writing materials. You form ideas and begin to write. Before long, you have a story. Is it good enough to sell? Will you submit it, or is this just something for relatives and close friends to see?
This is the caterpillar stage. Your ideas are all the legs the caterpillar has. Each one represents purpose. Each one has a story. Its small, long body represents your writing career at this stage. Small, almost insignificant in the big world of publishing, but long enough to be seen by certain people, yet just not on the world stage.
This isn’t a negative thing. All butterflies start here. You just need to keep going. Keep writing. Persevere. That’s the only way to get to the next stage.
You’ve done your homework. Your first full-length novel has been written. It’s in the closet or your desk drawer. You’ve written other pieces, too. Short stories, poems, blog posts. You’ve found this process to be exciting—something you see yourself doing for some time to come. Maybe even making a career out of it. So you get serious. You do more research, reading about the story arc, how to avoid clichés, and what tightens the pace. You go to a writer’s conference and meet editors and agents. Then back to your writing desk. Back to hide. To be alone and write. To hibernate where you may even unplug the phone and ask people close to you to be quiet because you’re busy writing.
This is the cocoon stage. You are wrapped up in material that has the potential to spring you anew. You hunker down and write with purpose. Are you a storyteller? Are you creating magic on your keyboard while alone, writing furiously? Absolutely!
What will be produced? What will come out of the caterpillar after it has wrapped itself up, hiding from the world with the intent to come out the other side looking magnificent?
You’re finished. You’ve written your best work. You’re ready to submit to agencies as you exit from your shell in more ways than one. Your work has color like the wings of a butterfly. It has spunk. You’re excited to flit around and share it. You can never have too many readers. This was your purpose, your dream. The work has come out looking beautiful. It has all the twists and turns you never anticipated were possible.
This is the butterfly stage. All the tension of struggling from a long-legged caterpillar into and out of the cocoon has come to fruition. You’re here. You’ve made it. Your best story has arrived, and it’s beautiful. You’ve come a long way. There’s been pain. There’s been struggle. But you’re here.
As a writer, what kind of butterfly are you? There are roughly twenty thousand different kinds of butterflies in the world. What do your wings mean? The color, size, and shape represent you. All caterpillars turn into a butterfly or a moth. Don’t become a moth. Although they have their own purpose, they’re not as pretty as butterflies nor as dynamic.
Make your work shine. Break out onto the publishing scene with a manuscript that is multi-faceted and colorful. Make your butterfly so beautiful that agents will want to place it in a jar and show it off. Make your prose so incredible that publishing houses will pay for the privilege of taking your novel and sending it to bookstores worldwide.
This is the life story of a butterfly, the life story of a writer.
So tell me—what’s your life story? What has been your journey as a writer? What stage are you in right now? Caterpillar, cocoon, or butterfly? What are you doing to make your story the best it can be?
You deserve to be heard.
But will we want to hear you?
Make that a resounding, “YES!”