A Rave About Writing (and sending daughters to college)
Today I finished editing a manuscript partial and sent it to an editor.
In August, my husband and I will be sending our only child off to college.
These events — it would be tempting fate to call them achievements — share many similarities, a comparison that I’m sure has been noted by others.
However, in my case, they are occurring more or less simultaneously. This explains many things, including the crazed look I’ve worn all summer and the fact that it took me six weeks to complete the small revisions I wanted to make before sending in the submission. (Think trips to England and Wisconsin, a camping excursion, a self-catered grad party, honors and scholarship assemblies and college dorm room decorating.)
I suppose this might also account for why I failed to see the parallels until after I hit “send” today. With all that’s been going on, I could only focus on one thing at a time, and that needed to be whatever I had to get done right then.
But now that I have a free moment, I’m thinking about that which brought us to these crossroads and the distance we have yet to travel.
Both my daughter and this book started with a thought. At the point, they were what my husband likes to call “the twinkle of an eye.” Even the word “idea” was too big to describe their existence. Yet each grew into something much bigger, and in the case of my daughter, more beautiful.
As each took form, they brought challenges that required creative solutions. Then there were times that the answers flowed effortlessly.
And speaking of time — there was never enough. There are so many things I know I would do better if only I had more time.
In my manuscript’s case, I know I could take all the time in the world. My only deadliines so far are those I set for myself, and since at heart I’m a “reviser,” I could easily work on this one book endlessly, for the rest of my life.
But my daughter is ready — and I mean really ready — to leave home for the less sheltered community of her college. I guess at some point, you have to set children (and books) free.
Thus I send both book and daughter forth, aware they will face criticism and rejection but hoping it will make them stronger.
They have reached the point that they need someone else’s help to make them better, stronger, and more viable in the real world.
And now, the real work begins.