So I tossed it away. Threw it on the scrapheap. Hit the delete button. And I am so glad that I did.
Because sometimes, it takes losing something to prove that you can do better. I re-wrote that entire chapter, and now I am proud to say that I am...well, proud of it. It conveys the messages and information I wanted it to convey and it introduces a new character that becomes VERY important later on in the story.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that sometimes you just have to wipe the slate clean. You can pick and adjust and rewrite as much as you want, and sometimes that works, but not for me. Deleting that chapter was something that I had to do, no matter how hard letting go of it was.
And I had liked it. That deleted chapter. I'd liked the sharp dialogue I had written, the little anecdotes on one of my favourite characters, the setting of it, the mood of the piece....but it had to be done.
But I am happy that I did it.
I am happy that I let go of something that I loved, yet was holding me back. I guess this lesson can be applied to real-life, too: letting go can be hard, but sometimes it must be done to pave the way for happiness.
|A sand mandala, created by a devoted Buddhist monk.|
I look at the Buddhist monks as the greatest example of this: they spent many, many painstaking hours on making their mandalas. It takes them so long, and the effort and concentration must be excruciating, the sheer devotion to the amount of detail as every inch of the mandala is crafted to perfection is, in itself, a wonder to behold. Needless to say, the end result of all of their hard work is stunningly beautiful, like a rare gem found amongst coal.
And then, after spending so long and going through so much to complete the beautiful masterpiece that is the mandala...they throw it away.
You may be thinking to yourself, what? They spent so long on it, just so that they could throw it away? That's ludicrous!
But it isn't. Not really, if you think about it: Throwing away their beautiful creation reminds the monks, and ultimately ourselves, of something: it reminds us that love is about appreciation, not possession.
And it has also taught me that sometimes, letting go of your own creations can be hard. But in the end, it can teach us wonderful lessons and open our eyes to see the bigger, brighter picture. It can help us see that the world is bigger than ourselves, than our creations, than a chapter. That at the end of the day, when all is said and done, do material possessions even matter? Does anything we own matter? When we are sat next to the man who has nothing but the smile on his face, and on the other side there sits the man with everything except a smile on his, can we honestly say that the wealthier man is happy? That man may be wealthier in riches and possessions, but who is ultimately the wealthiest? The man with nothing but joy, or the man with everything but happiness?
Do you see what I'm getting at here?
Starting from scratch, throwing away the things we love, having nothing....at the end of the day, it doesn't matter where we begin so much as how we end. It doesn't matter that I started that chapter on Tuesday and finished it on Thursday, or that I spent three whole days revising it and reading it through: what matters is that I decided to start again. I decided on another ending, on another creation, on another chapter.
The key thing that I want anybody, whether you're just back from a busy day or lying up with a cup of tea watching old Disney movies, to take away from this post is the following:
Letting go just means that there's something better out there, holding out its hand and just waiting for you to grasp it.
Has anybody else ever felt like this? Have these thoughts ever crossed your mind, or have you ever had to let go of something- or someone- you once held close to your heart? And how are the writers out there getting on with their WIPs? I'd love to hear about them in the comments below, or even if you just want a place to vent or get something off your chest. Or perhaps you've felt like this before?
I'd love to stay, but for now....
Farewell, my beautiful Internet!
- Sunset xx