The empty nest I've been brooding over this past week has given me plenty of time to think. Letting go of those little babies is one of the hardest things ever. Letting them fly. Letting them find their own wings. Any parent experiences a certain reluctance to cut the cord and bid them adieu.
But what about a writer and her work?
You might be a writer if...you launch your finished manuscripts into the world the same way you launch your children, with a jumbled mix of excitement, worry, fear and hope.
Similes and metaphors comparing writing to having children abound. Incubating an idea. Laboring over a story. Nurturing a plot along. Giving birth to a finished product. And letting go?
There is definitely some joie de vivre involved in putting the keyboard down and launching a finished story into the world. And trepidation. It's your creation. You've labored over it. There have been days when you really feel like you've sweated blood and tears to turn raw material into unforgettable prose. And days when you've waxed on and on and on, moony-eyed in love with your little creation.
And then comes the day when you wake up and know, today is the day. I've done all I can do. The last word has been written. The last change made. Much like a parent with a child, it's time to take a step back and launch them into the world. Let them fly. Will they crash? Undoubtedly. Will they get up? Please God, universe, whatever deity or higher being is out there watching over them, let them get up.
Will they soar?
That's any parent or writer's greatest hope. That their labor of love will soar, will influence others in a good way, leaving them changed or entertained or thrilled. Or maybe a little of all of the above.
And so we parents and writers launch our little loves into the wide wide world. Our hearts are practically bursting with pride for them. We worry for them. We're even a little fearful. But more than anything, with all our hearts, we hope that they will soar.