Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Letting go in life and writing

It should come as no surprise that I'm a bit of a control freak. And a little opinionated. Especially when it comes to kids and literature. So this past week, starting a new job as a middle school Language Arts teacher, has been full of ups and downs.

I've never encountered a curriculum, or even an educational philosophy, like the one at my new job. At first, I was purely bewildered. Then, as the week went on, I grew frustrated. I came home each evening railing about literature and kids and what's good for everyone involved. But when I finally hit Friday, I was feeling a bit more subdued. Maybe I don't know everything after all...

And while I haven't done any personal writing recently (don't worry, I'll get back to it! I just needed some time to fully devote to this job), I find myself thinking about how I might do this full-on control freak thing in my writing, too.

Lately, the words haven't been coming. I've worried I've lost interest in my new story, but anytime I re-read my notes, I'm as passionate as ever. I've worried I've plotted myself into a hole, but my brain is still bursting with ideas and work-arounds for every problem I encounter. Maybe I've been pushing myself too hard, worrying too much about conflict, character development, and perfection. What if, like with the job, I instead need to sit back, observe, and let my path become clearer rather than diving head-first into everything?

Easier said than done, of course, especially considering I spent the weekend on the coast, soaking up late-September sunshine and ocean breezes. Somehow I need to find a way to carry that beach mindset with me as the days grow shorter and darker.

I'll let you know how it goes.

Have you ever found letting go helped your writing? Your life?

*The picture is mine, one of my favorite "reflective" pictures from Santorini, Greece.*