Sunday, May 22, 2011

Letting Go

Good, bad, or indifferent, I’m a nurturer. Even though my children are all grown and on their own I suppose I will always be involved in their lives, by their design as much as from my desire. Our son is off cross country to California on an inter-office job interview. It’s a wonderful opportunity for him and one I wholeheartedly support. Like his older sisters, he is ready to strike out on his own. Perhaps it’s because he’s the youngest, the only boy, I don’t know the dynamic, whatever it is his separation seems to be the toughest. Our family constellation is small and thrives on our close relationships. When everyone’s together there’s lots of laughter, tumult, of course the family dinner, sometimes everyone sleeps over (at our house), and usually a delicious Sunday brunch.
Our son, like his sisters, is more than capable and ready to move on. It’s so difficult to let go but now is his time to shine, stand on his own, and show the world the stuff of which he’s made. As with each of my children, I look on with pride, and sometimes misty eyes, as they take the lead and move forward in their own adventure. They each know I am always here and ready to listen.
Is it any wonder I have the same problem letting go of my manuscript.
 I’ve tended it from conception through to completion. I nurtured and breathed life into each character crying with them, laughing with them, feeling their passion and disappointment. I’ve shaped the plot, delivered a cohesive story, while staying true to the values and ethics of my genre.
However, as ready as it was I hesitated sending it out. Just one more rewrite, one more edit. It had been a part of me for over a year, how could I let it go.
Finally, after some prodding from my dear writing friends, I sent it out and had great results. Now it’s in the very capable hands of my awesome editor, Denise Nielsen at Carina Press, getting ready for publication.
I feel the pride in my accomplishment and the excitement builds as I move toward the next step of my journey. When I speak to the kids I find eager ears listening as I recant plans and ideas, enthusiastic voices chiming in with encouragement and suggestions. My younger daughter startled me when she mentioned it was time for them to let me go. That they all watched on with pride at my drive, creativity, and accomplishments. She also said I make a mean brisket.
How do you feel about letting go? And let me know if you want a great brisket recipe!


  1. Hi Ruth, What a wonderful accounting to share with us. I, too, am a nurturer. I mother everyone, apparently even my characters. Everyone says I am not mean enough to them...I can't help it, I want everyone happy. I am learning to be mean and step up the conflict, but it is the most difficult part of writing for me.

    Every Thursday I take my daughter to lunch and we spend part of the meal brainstorming my current ms. I have a treasure trove of wealth in my daughter's creative mind. In fact, she comes up with ideas so quickly, I find myself marveling at her concepts. She is very proud of me and if I get discouraged, she insists I keep up with my writing because she and my hubby both know how much I love to spend my time with my muse.

    Enjoy the blessing of your children. They are such a bonus to our life. :)

  2. @ Paisley Kirkpatrick

    Hi -

    I know exactly how you feel. I don't enjoy conflict but I've been learning how to use it in my writing.

    I agree that my children are my blessings. When we are all together and we sit at the table after I've spent a long time in the kitchen, I revel at watching and listening to them.

    I'm certain you feel the same way about your daughter.

    Thanks for taking time to chat. I really enjoy it.

    Have a good week.

  3. It is difficult to let anything go that you have nurtured and breathed life into. I felt so lonely after my son moved to NC to attend the university there. However, seeing the things he is accomplishing in his life and knowing that I had a hand in guiding him into the man he is becoming, makes me know that he will be just fine in the world on his own while I take a less prominent role in his life. Now I have turned my energies into my writing so that I can continue to create wonderful things that I can be proud of and that will fulfill me as life goes on.

  4. @Rechelle

    Hi -

    My two daughters had boarded at college but were only 90 minutes away. Our son was 4 hours away. I was excited for him but oh it was so difficult for me. We are a close family.

    So, I know how you feel. You've guided him well and it's his time to shine. He will make you proud. It is so worth it. My heart swells with pride when I see him and the man he has grown into. I wish you the same feeling.

    Filling your time with writing and creating great stories is wonderful. I know I love to write, even the research. So, write on my friend!

    Thank you for taking time to chat.

  5. What a great post Ruth. Congrats on your manuscript... :)

  6. @Chrisie -

    Hi and thank you so much for your good wishes and for leaving a comment.

  7. Best wishes, Ruth! This past weekend my current ms (the one I'm DYING to tweak one more time, lol) got me to let go in a different way. Thank you for reminding me with this post.

  8. @Joanna Aislinn

    Hi - I'm glad my post was helpful. I know it's difficult. Each time I read any of my work I find something to edit, even my posts! I think that's a sign of a caring and good writer who can look objectively at their own work.

    Good luck with your ms. Let me know how it works out.

  9. Ruth, my son is just 11, and I already dread him leaving home...I hope I can let the kids go with as much grace as you show here. I think it is easier if you are able to appreciate the time you have with them when they are young. Much harder to have them leave and then wonder why you didn't spend more time with them when you had the chance.

  10. @Denise Nielsen

    I remember when my son was small and I hugged him extra tight. He asked why. I told there would be a time when hugging Mommy would be out of fashion. He was appalled.

    Every now and then when he gives me a hug for no reason, he whispers in my ear, "see Mommy, I always have a hug for you."

    I think, no I know family closeness is what you make it. Not stifling them but doing things with them, being their biggest fan, and *big sigh* letting them go.

    P.S. It was just as hard with my daughters. Although somehow now my makeup is never used up or missing!

    Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a message.

  11. It sounds as if you have given your children everything they need to survive out in the world on their own, to leave their mark and make a difference. Just as, I'm sure, your stories will do.

  12. @Christina Wolfer

    Thank you so much for your vote of confidence. I hope you're right!

    Thank you for your kind words and friendship.

  13. I know just how you feel Ruthie. I almost cried when I sent my first ms off. I did cry when it got rejected. How could they NOT love my baby? I'm a little more adult about rejections these days.

    My daughters are a different story. They all live close by and I can't imagine ever not having any one of them in driving range.

  14. @calisarhose

    Yes, each reject did hurt, especially without any explanation. It makes the letting go more difficult.

    Isn't great to have the kids living close by? I think it's great.

    Thanks so much for stopping by.

  15. I live in N.C. and my sons live in Virginia, Georgia and Texas. The Texas kid is moving to California within the month. They are all in their 40s so I guess I "let go" some time ago -- but not really. I can't be a big part of their lives so I try to stay busy and not think about how long it will be until the next visit. Same as writing -- I send the ms. out and keep busy on the next one, just as I plan the next visit.

  16. @Sandy

    You are so right! Especially about the ms, just keep busy on the next one.

    Thanks for taking time to leave a comment.