Another great guest blogger stopping by today! T.C. Mckee is celebrating the release of her YA paranormal THE BONE TREATY and is sharing some wisdom on when it’s time to let go…a hard thing for writers–and really anyone–to know how and when to do. Welcome, T.C.!
With today’s post, I thought I’d address the subject of letting go. We all have to do it at some point in our lives. It may be a child you’re sending off to college, your favorite pair of jeans that someone shrunk in the dryer, or a job you saw going nowhere. Maybe it’s something simpler like watching your husband vacuum the bedroom and he’s not doing it the way you would. Not. At. All. You’ve just watched him pick up your decorative rug and place it on your bed…let it go. He’s vacuuming. Pretend you never saw the rug—the very one the dog likes to chew his bones on draped across your slumber spot. No. Never happened. After that, just so you can write your next novel or market your new book (see The Bone Treaty below) he moves on to folding the laundry. How nice. What a wonderful man you’ve married. Then your daughter informs you that Dad is placing the freshly laundered, now folded towels on top of the rug that’s still on top of your bed.
Okay, DON’T let that go!!! We all have limits. Stop that man immediately. One can ignore a rug on the bed when it’s on top of a comforter. You can break that down. Rationalize it. You will not actually touch the top of the comforter while you’re snug as a bug…no worries. I’m gonna leave that sentence unfinished. But…no way should anyone be expected to use towels on your wee parts that have been resting on top of the Dog’s rug. NO! Pat that man on his head, snatch those towels and let the novel go for just five minutes. Your wee parts demand an intervention. They deserve it.
Learning when to let go is so important, and knowing when not to let go is equally just as important. I remember writing the first draft of The Bone Treaty and wanting to immediately toss it out to the world. Between you and me I did. Thank God I called it something else back then. It wasn’t ready. Heck, it was hardly ready for a beta reader. The work continued for years after that moment. The first novel is the hardest one. Don’t know why, it just is. But I think after all those years, all those revisions, all those weak moments I placed my head in the oven, it was all for a reason. I learned so much along the way. I discovered that writing really does take a village. Honest criticism is a wonderful thing because you can grow from it. If no one tells you what’s wrong with your work, you can’t possibly fix it. And I learned that I really need a gas stove if I plan to put my head in the oven in the future.
In the end, or the beginning, I learned when to let go of my WIP. It may not be perfect. Are there flaws? Probably. But without a doubt I did the best I could do on this particular project and the time came when I needed to just let it go and move on to my next story. So that’s what I did.
I asked a critique partner once how we were supposed to know when the time was right to move on. What she said was so true. She told me that I needed to let go when I couldn’t hold on anymore. When I no longer daydreamed about the characters. When I no longer thought about them when I should have been trying to sleep. When I no longer wanted to open the WIP it was time to let go.
So I did. I hope this helps another writer who might be wondering when to just let it go.
You can find The Bone Treaty at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00MLN4KQE/ref=s9_simh_gw_p351_d0_i1?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=1PG1TMHY7ZCK9PPAHXRC&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=1688200382&pf_rd_i=507846
You can visit me anytime on my blog: blog at: http://tcmckeewriter.blogspot.com
I’d love to have you stop by and say hello.
T.C. Mckee is the author of The Bone Treaty; book one in the Seal of Solomon Series. She’s also the acquisitions editor of BookFish Books LLC, a small business owner, Great Dane adorer, coffee addict, and lover of random useless facts. T.C. lives with her family in Virginia.