Writing is my passion. I have been lucky thus far in that I always seem to be coming up with new ideas for story lines or even complete books. At the moment I have two novel manuscripts and seven children’s books manuscripts completed. I have six other manuscripts in progress with and additional seventeen in the early stages of development. If I am awake I am most likely working on something. Now that is not to say I am at the computer all day as some of my best work is accomplished when I am nowhere near my computer.
My manuscript Somewhere in My Dreams was written mostly while I was walking in the cemetery. I also “write” while staring out the window, mowing the yard, riding my bike or swimming in the pool. There are times when I have written an entire chapter before I have even typed a single word.
While writing seems to come easy I cannot say the same is true with letting go. The first time I let others view my first manuscript I had a huge meltdown. It was not pretty. I had three people I wanted to review it so I had to go and make copies. I took my flash drive into Staples and handed it to the lady to print. She took my number so she could call me when it was finished. I was not expecting that. I mean I didn’t realize I was going to have to leave my “baby”. I watched her load it up into the printer, left the building, climbed into my Durango and promptly had a colossal panic attack.
Letting go is never easy. I remember the first time my husband and I left our kids home alone. We had just moved into a house in town, after having lived in the country for several years. It was a small town and close to everything so we knew we would not be gone long. We left them home, locked the doors then drove to Little Caesars to pick up dinner. We had been gone all of twenty minutes, and when we returned home the paramedics were standing on our front porch. My husband and I leapt from the car, hearts pounding, fearing the worse. As it turns out the paramedics were our new neighbors and had picked that opportunity to knock on the door and introduce themselves. That experience is still vivid in my mind after all these years.
Over the years it got easier to leave the kids alone but we never stopped worrying about them. Even to this day it is hard for me to say goodbye to them. The mother in me always worries that they may need me.
The same is now true for my new “babies,” my finished manuscripts. While I love the writing phase I am not so sure I am as excited about the editing phase. It does not matter how good a writer is, that writer will need editing, someone other than themselves who can look at the project with unbiased eyes. This person will be dissecting my baby. Getting rid of the bad qualities and suggesting I replace it with more acceptable attributes.
My best friend Sheila and I have always laughed about the fact that as mothers we can say whatever we want about our children. We can name their faults and voice things they do that drive us crazy, however you let anyone else say the exact same thing we just said and the claws come out. How dare you talk bad about my child!
In this vain I am still worried about my reaction when I see the mark ups on my manuscript. Will I be able to see their point of view, or will I get defensive. Feeling as though they are telling me my baby is not good enough. My husband being the voice of reason has been trying to help me through this process. Reminding me that the editors are the experts and that once again I need to learn to let go. Like caterpillars leaving the cocoon and transforming into beautiful butterflies, it is time for my written babies to prepare to head out into the world. It is time for me to let them go and give them the chance to transform from simple manuscripts into beautifully bound books for others to enjoy. I am ready, and if not…there is always xanax…