Funny how things collide in your life. Or maybe it's the weird, writerly mind. But I'm realizing how writing is so much like raising kids, and how one is great practice for the other. All books=babies references aside, I'm talking about letting that kid walk out into the world and stand up for itself. As parents we must constantly push our kids to be the best they can be. We nurture and coddle and spend hours fussing, all to one day let them make their own way. It's all about letting go and having some faith, not only in the kid, but in the world, too.
Hinterland is at graduation stage: that final semester of long lunches and short schedules and senior class trips. It's leaving me feeling a bit empty inside because I know I must send it out and let readers make of it what they will. It's going to have to go out there, on its own, sit alone in the lunch room, and try to make some friends.
I'm pretty practiced at that, actually. I've left a lot of my art in people's homes, never to be seen by me again. Spinetingler was a feel-good sale because they didn't find much wrong and printed it as I wrote it. (Kind of like when your kid gets 10/10 on his first spelling test and you didn't really make him study.) But I know the days are coming when I'm going to see someone else's influence supercede mine, maybe even a way I don't like. I've been on that thin bridge between art and business, as well as the thin bridge called growing up. I've already seen my kid come home from school changed.
But the real joy is in the process. Afterward, after you've revised, nursed broken bones, made them do homework, and copyedited, it's not what the kid or book says about its creator but that others find something good and worthy and strong in them.