Seven Steps on the Writer’s Path: Step 5 – Letting Go

It’s been a while since I wrote anything, and I mean that in just about every way, including here.  The most I’ve written were some story ideas for my brother who wants to create an adventure story.  Obviously that interests me.

I’m closing in on the end of Kitten Club.  The last part is the hardest, I think.  I’m re-writing a fair bit, and will probably have to re-write a lot more before I’m done.  It’s making it a stronger book, but I’m having trouble doing what Step 5 is about – Letting Go.

This is probably the most “self-helpish” chapter of the lot, covering a very simple concept – getting past the wavering, the doubt, and the worry and taking the plunge.  Letting go of old patterns, old ways of thinking, anything that is in the way of what you want to do.

It’s like that moment where you’ve lost everything and rather than dwelling on it, just move forward into the future.  A sense of freedom that I guess can be summed up by the book’s cover.

Blah Blah Blah.

One useful bit in it, however, was what they refer to “top cards.”  That is to say what your first reaction is to a crisis: control, superiority, pleasing or comfort.  Most people do one of those four things first, the top card you draw when dealing your hand.  I think mine is control – I argue, complain, become defensive, organize, or even shut down.  But being aware of it means I can at least have a better chance to deal with it.

I kinda mock the Dr. Phil tone of the book at time, but the fact is it’s a necessary part of what it’s trying to say, so I can’t actually fault it.  Not every writer who read this is going to need everything in it.  Some might find only a few useful bits of information, or maybe even the one tiny key that was keeping them blocked.  Others might find the whole thing as an eye opener.

I think at the very least it’s revealing, and even if you’re not having trouble writing it’s useful to know what’s going on behind the scenes in your head.

Once you can let go, you can really get lost in the work.  I’ve had this happen a few times in the past, and it’s a great, great feeling.  Step six is Immersion.