Monday, 21 January 2013

Here's the letting go.

Today is 'Blue Monday' otherwise known as 'the most depressing day of the year. I was having a relatively good 'most depressing day of the year'. I mean, you can't hold much stock in pseudo-science (though I do love me some good pseudo-science). I was productive at work. I was getting things ticked off my lists. I was happy.

You can see where this is going, right?

I struggled for a while to think of what to write for today's blog post. I wasn't sure what my weekly Karma Post was going to be about. Part of me wanted to write about how I'm becoming this cynical arsehole who has lived in big cities long enough to start to understand that fundamentally the girl who grew up in a small town is changing into this much more polished person. A person I don't recognise most days. A person who uses British spelling and punctuation  A person with a 'mid-Atlantic' accent (a delightfully jarring mixture of American and British). A person I'm not 100% I like. Or dislike.

That would be a good topic for a blog. It should have been the topic for this blog.

And then . . . I changed my mind.

On my daily commute home I felt crushingly defeated. We have weeks of winter ahead of us. Winter is a difficult time for me. I get a bit of SAD and the lack of light feels so unnatural. I'm a bit like this for four months or so:
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Not exactly the place I want to be. Not for any extended period of time.

Then there's the fact that 2013 has started and I'm still in the same place I was in 2012. For the most part that's a good thing. I love my job. Love it. I work with fantastic people in an industry that I love. I cannot speak more highly of the people I work for and with. They are all beyond brilliant and amazing co-workers.

So, why the feeling of defeat? I've got this little problem. Well, it's kind of a big problem. It's why I'm only now forcing myself to properly blog. I am not good at letting things go. I suck at it.

So, I guess that's what this post is really all about. When to let things go.

Way back in November 2010 I started working on this book. I'll call it a book now, because I've lived with it long enough that calling it a 'draft' or 'project' seems dismissive. I was excited about it. I had gone through a few other ideas and none of them had worked out. I wasn't a skilled enough writer for the concept. I over complicated what should have been a brilliant idea. I could go on and on. I won't though. I'm nice like that.

Anyway, I fell in head over heels disgusting love with my new book. Everyday I sat down to work on the book it was like this:

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It was such a departure from anything else I'd previously written. I was scared. Certain this would be a hot mess. It wasn't. The book was written relatively quickly (about four months, which for a girl with a full time job felt fast). I was shocked at how easy the process had been.

Then came the revision. I have spent the next, what, nearly two years in a constant state of 'oh-shit-this-is-terrible-worst-thing-ever-shoot-me'. It's not a pleasant place to be. After writing the story so quickly I hadn't expected to be stuck in the editing place.

I sent the book out to friends. Most of them loved it. Some of them had thoughts. Overall, I was all like:

All of them had notes, but the overwhelming consensus was: 'why haven't you sent this out to agents yet?'.

Because this is what I'm really like. Deep down inside:

That's right, I'm a frightened bunny. Doesn't matter how many lovely folks tell me not to freak out it's just my nature.

What if, after all this work it sucks? What if its the right book at the wrong time? What if it's terrible. What if people laugh at me (let's be honest, it can't be as bad as Fifty Shades of Grey)? What if, what if, what if . . .

The thing is, I could kill myself with what ifs. And in the end I'd get no further then writing this post. Because, if you never let the thing you're afraid of go, you never get anywhere.

I'm afraid of this book. I'm scared it could be something amazing. I'm scared it could be terrible (though I know deep down its not). I know, deep down, that this book is something special. But believing that is a scary thing. Believing anything is about letting something go and standing behind it.

It's time. I've written my query letter. I've done my research. On the most depressing day of the year I'm sending off my first query. I may get no replies. I will hopefully get some nice rejections. I may even get lucky and have someone request a partial. But, I can tell you one thing, sending this out into the world is one way to combat 'Blue Monday'.

Because if 2012 taught me anything it's about letting go. When we hold on too tight to the things we love, we lose them in a crushing way. It's time to let this one go. Either way, this is a new start. I couldn't be happier. Or more scared.

Here's the letting go.

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