Letting Go

Today’s guest blogger is Doreen McGettigan, a terrific lady and writer who has been a tremendous supporter of this blog. I, too, remember the day I dropped my youngest child at nursery school and had one hour, just one hour, to myself and fantasized about all the glorious things I would do — write, daydream — with all three of my kids in school. But the time flew, as it tends to do, and I barely made it out of the parking lot before I had to go back and pick him up. :)

I have been a ‘writer’ for years. I started covering school board meetings and counsel meetings in my small town for the small town’s small newspaper. I spent hours on each piece making sure I did not miss a word – or, the most embarrassing of all, I would just die if I misquoted anyone.

I realize those were the days when I was learning my craft, preparing for my dream of writing fiction. I wanted to write books, but I had to be patient. I had to do my time.

When my youngest child, Jillian, was close to kindergarten I thought, This is my time. I could finish my novel. I should have been thrilled. The truth is I was a mess. I did not want to give my baby to the world. I wanted to keep her with me.

The big day finally came. I put Jillian’s shoes on, and she took them off, repeatedly. “You can play with the other kids if we hurry,” I told her. She wanted me to carry her. I told her she needed to walk, and she cried.

Here we go, I thought, this child is going to grab my leg and scream. Jillian looked up at me and said, “Bye, bye, Mommy.” She gave me a quick wave as she hurried through the door. I was stunned. I stood there expecting the teacher to say, “Take your child home. She is not ready for school.” By the time I was home, I was sobbing. I was not ready to let go.

Of course, we all adjusted, and Jillian is now the awesome mommy of her own three little princesses. Life happened, and I never did finish that novel. I did, however, write a non-fiction book and was compelled to finish. It is the true story of the random road rage murder of my brother. The book exposes a justice system that worked on ego rather than law. The book is in production. I should be happy, right. Any day the Federal Express person will deliver my book. I will be able to hold it in my hands. Why am I crying all the time?

My brother would have been thrilled for me. I know that is a fact. There will be a big party. Am I afraid of the attention? What if I have no talent, like those kids on American Idol whose parents tell them they are great and they suck?

Is it normal for first time authors to feel this way? This book is full of my deepest, darkest feelings. It is full of blood, sweat and tears. It is my story. I am not ready to let go. But I must.

Did I mention I want to write fiction?

Doreen McGettigan lives in Delaware County, Pa. with her husband, two terriers and a homeless woman named Sophie. Her first book “Bristol boyz Stomp” (Tate Publishing) is due out summer 2011.

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6 thoughts on “Letting Go

  1. Truth is, I’ve heard, sometimes stranger than fiction; it may also be more interesting, more gripping, true to life, and inspirational. Congratulations for your success! Blessings to you…

  2. Our babies are a part of our physical selves, and in the same way our writing is a part of our emotional selves… words that come from deep within and emerge covered in potential. We have so much invested in them and it’s hard to send them out into the world not knowing how they will be received.

    You’ve completed a book and that’s something to celebrate. The best remedy for literary stage fright is to get busy and write another. Maybe now is the perfect time to begin that novel. Congratulations and good luck!

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