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Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Prevarication and flying the nest

Twisted Garlands second edit is complete. The synopsis is done.

So why, then, am I reluctant to send it out, even for a professional critique, which I know I ought to do?

Because I'm scared. I want to hold on to it. The comparison of writing a novel with giving birth is accurate except, for me, there was no pain. I really enjoyed writing Twisted Garlands. The first edit was like bringing up the child - a bit difficult but nothing more than I could cope with.
The worst part, for me is now. I've raised the child. I've guided the teenage novel through the difficult times when my readers gave me feedback and I did a second edit. Now the fledgling is ready to be cast out into the world; just like my eldest son who has just left home.

It feels very similar, except a mother can't really tell a 25 year old grown man that she really just wanted to keep him safe at home with her and his dad and that he needn't have gone and got a mountain of a mortgage just because other people said to him "What? You're still living at home with your mum and dad?"

I could do that with my book if I wanted to. I could hug it to me and keep it just for me. Safe and shielded from rejection and criticism. But I don't think I'd be doing it justice. Exactly the same as if I'd kept my quiet, gentle son shielded from the world in the family nest, and believe me, it would only have taken one word from us and he'd have been content to carry on living here. After all, he has had his house since the beginning of May last year. Prevarication personified was Garry. He admitted that he liked living at home and didn't really want to move out. He even talked about renting it out to cover the mortgage.

"For God's sake, Garry," we said, "most people your age would give their right arm to be in your position."

He finally moved out two days before Christmas. He doesn't have a girlfriend so he's living alone with Barney, his labrador. I could have cried buckets when he finally went because I couldn't bear the thought of him being lonely.

A month later he's happy and content. We still see him every day because he brings Barney in the morning and fetches him in the evening so he's not in the house on his own all day. He has lots of friends of both sexes and a great social life. He's a bit hard-up, as you'd expect, but I help him out by cooking his evening meal, which he sometimes takes with him to microwave at home and sometimes eats with us. Sometimes he cooks himself if he has friends coming round.

You often have to let someone, or something, go, even though your heart is screaming out to you to keep it close. If I were to squirrel Twisted Garlands away and not let it see the light of day again I wouldn't be doing the right thing.

Just like I wouldn't have been doing the right thing by my son to let my heart rule my head and let him take the easy road in life.


motherx said...

I can understand how nervous you must be. It would be a huge shame if you kept it to yourself after putting so much work into it. I really admire you. So Id say GET IT OUT! asap. What you have done is fantastic, so give others a chance to see it! who knows what could happen!!

Debs said...

I can completely empathize with you and am nearly at that point myself but we have to be brave and just do it! Poor Garry, I'm glad that he's settled in to his new home and enjoying himself.

Tom Foolery (TF) said...

Do not be afraid to take the next step on your journey. TFX

HelenMH said...

Oh, it's so so hard isn't it. But the one way to make sure you never get anything published is to never send anything out! So you're going to have to grit your teeth and do it!


The idea of sending your book out into the world to be scrutinised, and possibly found wanting, is a scary thing indeed. Hopefully, it'll be snapped up in a flash :)

At the moment I can't see my children EVER leaving home...and I don't mind, but I'm sure that'll change in time!

Lane said...

What a lovely analogy.

Your manuscript has been well brought up Annie. Time to send it out into the big wide world to make its mark:-)

Annieye said...

Mother X - I shall send it out, and keep sending it out. But I'm not holding my breath.

Debs - Isn't it scary. (The book and
leaving home)

TF - Cheers. But I am!

Helen - Probably won't have any left as I shall have ground them off in the night with nerves!

Karen - Thanks. I really miss him. I told him I missed him last night and he said "you can come round and do my ironing if you like." Hmmph. What goes around comes around.

Lane - How are you m'duck. Keep thinking about you and wondering how your dad is.

Captain Black said...

My chemistry teacher used to say "show me someone who's never made a mistake and I'll show you someone who's never tried anything".

No more squirreling away. Get stuff out there!

Feel free to hold a mirror up as I say that ;o)

Fiona said...

I've just signed up for a creative writing course in the next village - pleased. The tutor wants me to bring my novel, which I foolishly told her about - not pleased. I want to go over and over it and not let it go out to be crushed...

I'll let mine go if you do the same?