Graduation or capstone?
Last week we made a trip to Atlanta for our grandsons’ graduations, one from middle school and one from high school. They will both be “rising freshmen” this fall.
Needless to say, we are proud of them and happy for them to have made this milestone in their lives.
The youngest grandson’s capstone ceremony was filled with music and talks from some of the most talented eighth graders I have ever seen. Yes, capstone, not graduation. It is a nice distinction, saying the students had achieved the highest honor for their school, but graduation was yet to come.
I got to thinking about writers on the long drive home. Writers are also students, for we are constantly learning. We attend workshops and take courses, and read craft books and articles. We also read every book in our genre we can get our hands on, trying to decipher just how this author grabbed our attention and how that one kept the suspense rising higher with each chapter.
I don’t think an author ever “graduates,” unless it is when they make the enviable NYTBS list. Or the Pulitzer. And even then, I bet they vow to make their next novel even better. Maybe we can call that graduate school.
But we do have our capstones when we hit the goals we have been aiming for for so long.
What was yours?
Maybe it was when you finished that first full-length manuscript and happily wrote “The End.” Or when you got that acceptance from a publisher. Or when you held the book in your hands for the first time.
Whatever it was, I hope you had a ceremony, even if it was doing a happy dance around the room and laughing like a maniac.
Maybe you opened that bottle of special wine you’d been saving for an occasion. Or maybe you said a quiet prayer of thanks and celebrated in your heart.
Every milestone you gain, every goal you achieve, is a capstone in your career.