Have you ever wondered if Picasso saw one of his paintings hanging at an opening and thought, “Just another stroke of blue and it would be perfect.” Or, if Stephen King thumbed through Carrie and wanted to change a word here or there?
If that’s the case, how does anything ever hang on the walls or ends up in print? How do you finally push it away and say it’s done?
Almost every time I’d look at Phoenix during the querying process I’d make a tweak here or there. My wonderful critique group (Greater Fort Worth Writers) read it last summer and gave me feedback. Numerous writing buddies have given me their edits. I’ve made their changes and then some, and thought I was ready to go.
So why in the world did my Muse whisper a chapter to me one Sunday morning last month while I hiked the Texas Hill Country? Was it because I was mulling over a proposal by a friend to publish it? Did the acknowledgement of me being ready to hit the BIG print button cause her to go, “Wait, wait, wait, I’ve been meaning to tell you something.”? Or, is it my own fear of letting my baby loose in the wind like a bundle of balloons?
I wrote that new chapter and it does feel like that missing pinch of salt (of course, the wonderful critique group members who have it in their inbox may tell me it’s too much). And after one more re-read, I think I might be ready to let go.
How do you let go of your work?