Move Along…Move Along

We write it. We edit it. We polish it until it shines like spun gold. We protect it like a mother bear, but at some point we have to let go. We have to loosen our grip, put that story into an envelope, add postage, say a little prayer, and send it on its way.

Sending that manuscript out into the world is not much easier than sending our first born off to college. At least when our kids go off we hear from them on a regular basis. We find out if they’re eating properly, attending class regularly, and not partying too much during the week. (Okay so, I’m a bit deluded about the partying bit, but you get my drift.)When that manuscript leaves our fingers it is many, many months until we hear from it again. It could even be a year or *gasp* even two. (Yes, I did say two.) See why we writers are such an insecure bunch?

So now it’s gone. The house is quiet again. The merry sound of a keyboard slapping in the middle of the night has come to an abrupt halt. We mourn a little for those characters who have consumed our lives for so many months or years. It’s only natural to be a bit sad. We’ve finally come to the end. We’re standing in that empty house saying, “Now what?”

At this point the only thing we can do is take a deep breath and move on. Hopefully, another story has been prodding us, and with any luck we were smart enough to jot down some notes along the way while we’re facing the fact that we’re not likely to hear from our manuscript for a good long while.

There’s no point in becoming too emotionally wrapped up in the release of our manuscript. You know that saying “If you love something set it free….” Of course in this case we only want it to come back it it’s been accepted for publication and we’re working on edits. Right?

So back to the beginning of my post.—We write it. We edit it. We polish it until it shines like spun gold. We loosen our grip, send it on its way—

And then we move along.

It’s really our only option. Isn’t it?

Do you find it difficult to let go of your work and send it off into the big scary world on its own?

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10 Comments

  1. This was a very timely blog. Just this morning I decided to declare my novel “done” and send my novel out to a publisher for the first time. It’s in the envelope now and I’m off to the post office on the way to work. I’ve been searching for a new story and wonder if having this one still sitting around has actually kept me from moving along. If so, all the better reason for sending it out there. Here’s hoping something exciting is around the corner.

    Reply
    • Congratulations on sending your novel out into the world, Heather. Hopefully, it won’t take forever for it to check back in with you.. I’ll keep my fingers crossed. :)

      Reply
  2. Yes, Laura. This makes perfects sense. I am still polishing and wishing I could send it on its way and concentrate on other writing. I must press on a little harder to get it finished.

    Reply
  3. Hi Laura,

    I don’t find it difficult to send my novel into the world, but I do find it difficult to make time for those much-needed edits!

    I completely relate to your mention of a mourning period and a “what now?” feeling. I go through that every time. It’s like a mild depression at the end of every book.

    Great post!

    Reply
  4. Yeah, it’s tough to send my babies out. Even to just my crit partners. LOL. But knowing my agent is sending out MS to editors, yeah, I get a little wonky with idea. . . .

    Great post.

    Reply
    • Glad I’m not the only one who feels a bit strange sending my ms out into the world. If only they didn’t wait so long to get in touch. I could live with that…LOL!

      Reply
  5. I’ve not yet entered the empty nest syndrome yet. I wonder what I’d do with myself if I had no revisions hangning over my head.

    Reply
    • Perhaps if you had no revisions hanging over your head you’d be ready to start something new. Revisions can be a great distraction, though. I have so many stories started I’m not sure I’d ever come to a point where I was at a loss for something to work at.

      Reply

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