Thursday, September 9, 2010

Letting the Work Speak for Itself.

In my case, being a parent has helped me with my writing.  Not everyone can say that, but I can.  I especially feel that having children who are nearly adults has given me great preparation.  You see, slowly but surely I've had to let my kids go.  They've gone to school, on dates, they've driven cars and two of the three have gone away to college while number three waits on deck.

So sending off a book should be no problem, right?  I mean I've sent my flesh and blood children into the world, so the book should be easy.  It's just a book, right?  Wrong.

Over the past two days, as I sent my work into the void, I was a nervous wreck, and I knew I had to calm down. The book I recently finished revising is not only back with the publisher who gave me such incredible input, but it was requested by an amazing agent in NYC. (Did you all hear me squeal from coast to coast?) If I should be signed by this woman, I would consider myself incredibly lucky and I'd know my career would be in good hands.  So why was I having a meltdown?

Simple. I had to let go.

Just like parenting, I have to let my work stand on it's own and accept the loss of control.  The book is really good, but there are no more training wheels, no more safety nets--the book, my literary baby, is going to succeed or fail on its own.  And it's hard to face that.  However, just like my children, I need to believe in what I've done and have faith that I've crafted a good story.

Of course, I'm scared to death, because I've been down this road before and the possibility of rejection is very real.

But it's also rewarding to know I took the step, that I made the attempt and that I was brave enough to let go.

It's the only way to move forward and as writers that's what we need to do.  What are you doing to move forward?


  1. So tell us what this baby is about. I am so curious. And Congrats on sending it out into the world. You are braver than I.

  2. Kelly, you'll find your nerve, you have to. It sounds to me like you have some great stories to share. Of course, I've popped more antacids in the past few days than I have in since my last child went to college. I'm trying to distract myself by outlining a new book.

  3. Oh yes, you have to let go. Congratulations on getting all the positive reactions. My 'baby' is in the same boat at the moment. It must be good for our character...

  4. Not that this is any comfort to you, but it doesn't get any easier even once you have the agent and the book deal. I finished up edits on my debut yesterday, and I'm dreading that moment I have to put it in an email to my editor and hit "send." I have a couple weeks to brace myself for it, but the very thought scares the pants off me!


  5. Claire-Congratulations. I hope good things come your way.

    Tawna-Awesome. Just awesome. I guess if it doesn't scare the dickens out of us, what's the point?

    Thanks for reading.