"Control, Control, You Must Learn Control!"

Yeah, whatever, Yoda. If you can show me the use of trying to control anything in my life now that I'm getting a book published, I'll knit you a little hat with two ear holes to keep your fuzzy little head warm on cold nights in Dagobah.

You know that feeling of being out of control? Your life is spinning around you and battering you back and forth and there is nothing, absolutely nothing, you can do to stop what is happening? The only thing you can do is accept it, give in, let go?

Yeah. Well, I'm not very good at letting go. Lately, I've been reacting to the lack of control in my life by trying to control whatever I can. And I've just realized it's part of what's screwing up my revision of Fire.

A couple days ago my stupendous editor reminded me to stop looking at the revision so mathematically, and instead feel it emotionally. And yikes, she is so right: I've been approaching my revision mathematically, trying to build it like a brick house with every brick at the perfect straight angle to the others, no cracks, everything perfectly controlled. Instead of feeling it, and feeding it, and letting it breathe. And the reason I've been doing this is that everything in the life of a debut writer is out of control, so I'm trying to control whatever I can, even the words on the page. But I can't control my writing. It doesn't thrive that way. If I'm going to figure out this revision, I need to let it go. I need to release it into the universe.

I"m starting to feel like I'm writing about the Force, with all this talk of feeling and releasing things into the universe. Okay, so maybe I was being unfair to Yoda before... he's basically a little green buddha, after all, and buddhas are all about letting go. And he was talking to Luke at the time, anyway, who was basically a whiny brat. And there was that whole Anakin-loses-control incident that was maybe weighing on his mind...

Maybe I need to learn to control my impulse to control things.

Does this mean I need to learn to knit now? Rats.


NoGrandmother said…
Knitting is like Paxil. It calms the monkey mind.

I do think that my fussy, repetitive hobbies (knitting, making jewelry, moving piles of paper/books from one place to another like Eeyore with his balloon shred) sometimes get in the way of writing, because why write when I can do something valueless? But mostly, they clear a headspace in which I can think.

--SnowyOwlet from LJ
Kristin Cashore said…
Welcome to my blog, SnowyOwlet (and thanks for posting)!

I wonder if you've been reading Natalie Goldberg (who talks about the monkey mind)? Yes, I also think some of my fussiness clears headspace. The bad thing is when it just becomes fussiness for the sake of fussiness and I start to get all wound up...

And yay for Eeyore references!
NoGrandmother said…
Lord, I haven't read any Natalie Goldbert in years.

Maybe I just hang around too many Buddhists. :-D
Thomi Horath said…
Hi Kristin,

I like these words of Yoda, because sometimes I want to be like Luke Skywalker. Can we learn to control? If I say: "I try", Yoda would immediately answer: "No! Do! Or do not! There is no try!" And after Yoda pulls out the ship from the swamp, Luke says: "I don't, I don't believe it!"
Yoda's answer:
"That is why you fail."
So how about our belief?
Darth Vader says: "I find your lack of faith disturbing."

I think, this is one of the reasons I like this trilogy: the meaningful sentences.

May The Force Be With Us ;)

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