Letting Go

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I have just a month before Keeping Merminia goes public. It’s an exciting time for me, but it’s also a time where my nerves are relentlessly in my throat.  Oh writers, you know how that feels… when you take a manuscript made of exhausted eyes, nasty red pen edits, and the words you chose while at your most vulnerable.

Writing for me is a treadmill that is continually upping the incline and speed. I love stories and disappearing into something that feels simultaneously of  human emotion and pretend world. BUT, the actual creation of a book is a constant learning process.

I repeatedly wonder if I’ve understood and applied the techniques of those authors who successfully make me feel for their characters. I’m always asking myself, “Am I pushing myself? Is the emotion raw enough? Is the pacing smooth enough? Should I rewrite that scene for the billionth time? Have I nailed it yet?”

At some point though, there’s nothing left to do but let go. You take all of your hard work, setbacks, insecurities, your heart, and intention—and let the reader make of it what they will. You accept that some people won’t get it, that there’s something you probably could have done much better, and that yes, somebody is going to hate it.

But I also let go of this manuscript knowing that I tried my best to write something honest and human. I gave it a shot, and I typed and typed until I finished something. Polished edges, sanded corners, and most assuredly some warts and bumps someone will be happy to point out to me.

That’s just what writing is. The beautiful part is creating your own world and heroes.  It’s holding a bundle of pages full of your own tears, sweat, and smiles. The very best of writing is when you get that one review where someone lights up about a character you worked so hard to put together.

The rest is the ratings and reviews of  faceless strangers, the likelihood of being lost in a sea of other independent authors, and the less than glamorous hours of promotion you’ll be putting in after publishing.

So in the midst of publishing checklists and critiques to come, I let go of this story—knowing that there’s always going to be room for improving. I let go of Keeping Merminia, knowing that the next story I write, I can CHANGE and GROW and EVOLVE some more.


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