In Which I Am Out of Control

Posted: August 1, 2012 in Writing
Tags: , , , , , ,

Writing friends, I just gave up. Completely surrendered.


And you know what? It felt great. I’ll probably do it again tomorrow. And the next day, too.

I see the confusion on your face. Surrender?? Gave up on what???

Stuff I have no control over. Factors outside my influence. The immoveable metric ton of tricksy particulars I keep trying to shoulder. Pesky things like:

–the economy

–market and genre trends

–shifting state of the publishing industry

–today’s seven figure deal for the latest self-published/YA/fanfic/erotica/BDSM/OCD/PTSD/STFU phenom

–three day auctions

–past failures

–past revisions

–past mistakes
–present learning curve



–editorial taste

–editorial lists

–acquisitions meetings

–editorial boards

–the submission process

–submission response times

–NYC weather


Maybe your list is different. Maybe you’re querying agents or staring at your debut’s book cover or sobbing over your last royalty statement. But I bet you have a list. Take a good hard look at it, and ask yourself if you’re like me, a writer who needs to put her hands up and say…

I am not psychic. I am not a special snowflake. I am not superman, yet I am not immune to kryptonite. I am just a girl, sitting in a red chair, typing some words. I am just trying to tell a story, the best way that I can. I can control the words. I can’t control the rest. The rest will not cripple or paralyze or smother the joy I find in words. Yesterday and today and tomorrow.  Amen.

Surrender is sweet. I highly recommend it. 🙂

  1. Jemi Fraser says:

    Love, love, LOVE this Jenny! It’s perfect. We tend to get smothered by the minutia (sp???) we can’t control. Great reminder – I’m off to surrender too 🙂

    • jmartinlibrary says:

      Yay, Jemi! This was inspired by so many writer friends who are really struggling. I struggle. We all struggle. And there’s no shame in admitting that. There’s freedom in letting go of all those things we can’t change. 🙂

  2. Kendra Highley says:

    I need to remember to do this on a regular basis. It’s good for keeping the smile going 🙂

  3. Jeanne says:

    Amen! And thank you for saying it all!

  4. Kristin Gray says:

    Sign me up! Only I’m not in a red chair, I’m at my kitchen table which must be cleared shortly for dinner. Cream cheese mashed potatoes though, so it’s not all bad. J

    • jmartinlibrary says:

      Yummmmmm…I like the sound of that. And since I’m sitting at my kitchen table right now, eating strawberries w/ nutella… 🙂

  5. jmartinlibrary says:

    Doesn’t that feel good to let it all go???

  6. JB Sanders says:

    Head, wall. Good therapy.

  7. Poppy says:

    Love this…and it’s so true! I think when hesitate to surrender because we don’t want to lose control, but sometimes that’s what’s necessary!

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