Saturday, April 24, 2010

Letting Go

Creativity can be described as letting go of certainties

- Gail Sheehy


Letting go isn't easy.


Lately, my husband has been teaching our oldest son to drive. I won’t mention my son’s age, in case social services reads my blog. We live on several acres, so the closest things we could crash in to are cottonwood trees and a horse corral.


Last week it was my turn to take our son. While he slowly drove around our property, my hand “rested” near the emergency brake. While we calmly talked about ordinary things, my heart raced. But you know what? My son did great. He was cautious, curious, and respectful of the machine he was driving.


While sitting in that passenger seat, I realized it’s not easy for me to let go. It could be a control thing, it could be a fear of the unknown, I don’t know for sure. But in my mommy life, and in my writing life, I’m learning that letting go is part of the process.


When writers finish a manuscript, we must give it a goodbye kiss and send it on its way. How will my baby survive in the real world? What will other people think? Simply put, there are many things in life we can’t control.


With parenting, and with writing, we can only do our best and let go of the certainties.


21 comments:

  1. I'm just glad my kids have a better shot at excelling than my manuscripts!

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  2. What? You're crazy (said with love). You're giving them a great, determined example to follow!

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  3. Just starting out on the road as a mother and children's writer (after years of desire). In fact, I'm such a newbie that I sent out my first query letter and manuscript last week. It was scary!!! Thank you for this reassuring post.

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  4. Erin, a big hearty congratulations on your first "letting go" experience. I've got my fingers crossed for you!

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  5. I love this post! For the longest time I kept my hand on the emergency break where my novel was concerned. Then one day I learned that I had to just let go. Both my novel and I have been much better off ever since! Funny how life's lessons transfer over like that isn't it?

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  6. Heather, you're so right. But it is NOT easy letting go sometimes. I'm looking forward to seeing your novel in print!!

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  7. You mean, er, I have to let go? Actually let The Kiddo, ahem, have the keys one day?

    You're right. That IS about as easy as putting a MS in the hands of the Fed Ex guy ... so many times I want to run after him and yank it off the truck!

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  8. NO, Devin can't drive yet. I changed his diappers. He's not that big yet. Ok, so dad taught me in the buggy at 12 or so, so I guess it's ok. But still! I feel your pain. I do not look forward to my time either, which will be around the corner. Good Luck!!!

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  9. Cynthia, I have a vision of you chasing the Fed Ex guy down the road! But you're obviously doing something right!

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  10. Jill, can you believe it? Yes, he's early, but us country bumpkins can do that. Mary driving isn't too far away!

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  11. Yes my writings are my babies now. My kids are all grown and I still try to give them advice, but I can't really tell them what to do. My manuscripts are under my control while they grow under my hand and guidance. These are the babies that I am anxious for them to mature and make it on their own and hope they don't get sent back to Daddy.

    Lee
    May 3rd A to Z Challenge Reflections Mega Post

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  12. Arlee bird, love your comment about getting sent back to Daddy. So funny!

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  13. what a beautiful post, julie. and so, so true.

    i'm wishing you the best of luck with everything -- your son's driving record as well as your manuscript!!

    i'm sure both will be a raging success!

    <33

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  14. Tahereh, thanks for the good luck. I sure need it! LOVE your blog, by the way.

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  15. Oh... 'Let it go' has definitely become my mantra recently, about writing and parenting. It's essential, I think, for getting through. And parenting has been a lesson in small steps toward letting go, every single day! Thanks for the timely reminder!

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  16. Heather Kelly, thanks for stopping by! Yes, parenting is a ton of small steps toward letting go. Not always easy though!

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  17. A beautiful post. Perfect analogy. Letting go is hard in everything we do, especially if we're the types who like to control everything.

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  18. Excellent advice!! And so very hard to do! My youngest just learned how to drive and I would try really hard not to say anything or be too controlling, however she kept getting annoyed with me gasping and sucking in my breaths anytime she would do something wrong. It was so hard for me to stop doing that...Too funny!

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  19. Slushy, I can only imagine! It was all I could do to remain calm. Not easy!

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  20. Theresa, letting go IS hard. I'm not very good at it.

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