The Power of Letting Go in Your Writing Life

This week, I’m letting go of two things: my manuscript and my gallbladder. 
On Wednesday, I’ll send my manuscript to three beta readers who happen to be uber-talented women with published books and successful literary careers. Part of me thinks, how effing lucky. I imagine the vast praise they’ll lavish on me after reading what can only be called the book of the century. 
The other part thinks, holy shit, they’re probably going to say my manuscript sucks. While I know that feedback is essential, handing over this file feels a little like waking from a dream only to realize you really are dancing naked in your high school gym, and let’s just say you could use a few new dance moves. 

On Thursday, I get to be one of the 750,000 people this year who’ll lose their gallbladders. There’s a 97% chance this will be a simple surgery with a short recovery, but I won’t find out about that 3% until I wake up. (FYI: I’m holding space that the 97% is actually 100%, and I hope you will too). 
In both cases, I’m not just letting go of an item, I’m letting go of control over the outcome. Deep down, I know I can’t make my beta readers say, “Oh yes, you should DEFINITELY send this out immediately,” any more than I can make my doctor wake me up mid-surgery to discuss his game plan. 
All I can do is trust that showing up is enough. 
I’ve spent countless hours hacking away a grand total of 13,640 words from my manuscript and digging so deep into my story that its ache has become my friend. I’ve read the book out loud (yes, the whole book), and polished my sentences. I’ve run the essential final spell-check. 
For my surgery prep, I’ve traded social media scrolls for time in prayer and meditation. Every day, I envision a simple surgery and an easy and speedy recovery. I’ve even followed my surgeon’s pre-op recommendations, which included a 14-day quarantine where I quit all supplements and caffeine. (You can send condolences to my husband.) 
This week, I have to trust that my efforts are enough. 
The outcomes are out of my hands. 
And, isn’t that how it always is? 
So, what are you letting go of this week? 
What will you do to remind yourself that your efforts are enough?

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