Hanging On… and Letting Go

January 12, 2012

The book title that inspired today’s post in my ongoing miniseries is Something to Hang On To, by Beverley Brenna (whose name has come up a couple of times on my blog this week!) The book is a collection of Young Adult short stories, on a variety of topics, some serious, including one heart-wrenching story that opens the book, Dragon Tamer, about the death of a boy’s father; some taking the reader into another culture, such as Gift of the Old Wives, which retells a Cree legend; and some just plain funny, such as Toe Jam, based on a true story of getting one’s toe caught in the vacuum cleaner (ow!).

This title led me to some thoughts about writing.

I’ve been thinking about hanging on and letting go.

What does a writer — or indeed, anyone — need to hold on to? Here are a few thoughts. I hope you’ll add to them in the comments. Belief in him/herself. A supportive community. Knowledge gained from others who’ve been on the writing journey longer. A sense of humor. Respect for the reader, child or adult, as a person. Humility. Willingness to learn, to grow, to change.

What does a writer — or anyone else — need to let go of? Self-doubt. The inner critic. The power of other critics to hurt feelings or to stifle creativity. Arrogance. Unwillingness to ask questions. Fear of rejection.

Do these seem valid to you? Do you have other thoughts to add? What do you need to hang on to? To let go of?

11 People reacted on this

  1. Nice blog post. I wasn’t familiar with Bev’s short stories — what a creatvie book! Hold onto: an open mind willing to explore any idea without censoring. Letting go: perfection.

    1. Oh, good additions to the discussion, Pat. I think PiBoIdMo helped me to have an open mind and to explore ideas that I might have just set aside or ignored before. And oh my, it’s hard to let go of the striving for perfection. When I was a child, I know I gave up on too many things because they didn’t turn out the way I imagined them, the first time. I’m learning persistence now. But it has to be persistence that works toward my “best” without chiding myself that it isn’t “perfect”.

    1. Thank you, Ann. Remembering why we’re doing this can be very helpful in the face of the speed bumps of critics, and rejections, times of sitting and staring at the blank screen. One hopes that one’s attitude will lead to the speed bumps having a necessary cautionary purpose without stopping us entirely.

  2. Another thing that’s good to let go of: stuff! Physically letting go of stuff can help clear things up emotionally in some areas

Comments are closed.