Letting Go

Are you the type who can't thin out vegetable seedlings because you believe if they took the trouble to germinate, they should all be given the chance to grow?


Does your garden look like an Amazon rainforest because you can't bear to get out the hedge clippers?


Do you possess more meaningless, random five-year old art work than you actually have five year olds because you won't throw anything out?


Do you hang onto ill feelings long after an altercation just in case you need them again for round two?


As a writer, are you reluctant to edit your own work, because they employ people to do that sort of thing for you anyway don't they, and any self-respecting editor will be able to see how much blood, sweat and tears each word took to produce therefore earning its place in your convoluted story?


An oft hackneyed term that is easier said than done. Perhaps, as writers, we have to deal with the idea of letting go, shaving back, cleaning out, and changing tack more frequently than the average Joe because not only must we contend with our own overcrowded, complicated lives, but we must also be wary of unnecessarily cluttering those of our characters.

And it's much, much harder to butcher the dreams and aspirations of those you love than your own, believe me.

I'm going through a few personal crises just now and a rushed bout of self-editing (for a manuscript). The two are at vastly different ends of my well-being spectrum but the one uniting factor they share is the need to


It's tough work. But the feeling you get after chucking out that Tupperware you no longer look at or culling back an unnecessary paragraph or two is nothing short of liberating and life changing. At least on one's own little life spectrum.

It's not easy but it's worth it. Because to change everything, you simply need to change your attitude. Or at least let the old ones go...

So, what about a change of hair-do then? Hack it off? What do you reckon?


Hi Dimity. I'm a bit of a hoarder, so it's hard for me to let go of things. I usually keep on to stuff 'just in case I need it again'. This can make it difficult as a writer, especially when the writing needs to be sent out (being a perfectionist certainly doesn't help)!

Sorry to hear about your personal crisis - I hope things get better for you soon. Take care!
Angela Sunde. said…
Hi Dimity,
Since I've returned home I've been eyeing items around the house that must 'go'.
You're right. You can think more clearly after culling. A plot is tighter after culling. And a neat and tidy house helps me write better. Go figure!

DimbutNice said…
Thanks Debbie. Me too. I swing from over hoarding to ripping it down and throwing it away. Writing is a wonderful discipline in this regard. Thanks for caring. Dimity
DimbutNice said…
Always a joy to hear from you Angela. I agree on all three points you make. Prompt- must go clean house. But more so;culling mind chatter and worry, does creates wonderful clear headspace. Even more intriguing is the pure creative thought I get when cleaning the house! :-\
I'm very big on the decluttering at the moment and it feels great to let go. I definitely appreciate the space more than I did the items.

I'm not buying into the hair decision though, that's a very personal thing. It's never worried me to hack mine off, and I think you would look gorgeous however you wear your hair. If you think you'll enjoy the journey, go for it, but if it will make you sad, then you're allowed to hang onto a few things :)

See how much I love this post - I'm even braving those mean old captchas to comment :)
DimbutNice said…
Thanks for showing me such bravery Charmaine. I didn't even realise I had captchas :-\ Don't touch your hair. It's gorgeous. And thanks but I think the split ends are safe where they are. I did say, change your attitude, not the whole ensemble ;-) I'm not that brave.
Anonymous said…
A timeless post, Dimity. Nicely done
DimbutNice said…
Thanks Bernadette! Unfortunately, I still haven't learnt. :-(

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