Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Letting go

For the past couple of weeks, I've been thinking about the concept of "letting go." It can mean many things, and different things at different times, but I've found it immensely useful in my writing life (as well as the other parts of my life). Some things it can mean:

Saying no to taking on another task.
Deciding not to attend a conference I've attended in the past.
Sitting and reading a book instead of forcing myself through another chore.
Postponing some of my tasks, or switching them from daily to every other day.
Accepting that the least important things in my life will be done imperfectly so that I can spend more time on the things that matter most.
Scheduling travel at a sane hour instead of arranging a trip that requires getting up at 4 AM.
Being willing to forgo something I want if the cost (and not just the monetary cost) is too high.
Stopping a flurry of self-questioning about whether the book I'm writing now is as good as the previous one, or better, or worse, or whether readers will like it as much as my earlier books, or more, or less ...
Remembering to laugh.

Writing takes a lot of time and energy, and that time and energy have to come from somewhere. We don't always have to be adding to our lists. Sometimes we can delete items without even doing them. It's okay.


  1. Thanks for the gentle nudge. The pressure relief valve gets stuck closed sometimes and I forget to fix it. Always welcome these sorts of reminders.