Friday, April 8, 2011
A To Z - Goodbye
No, I am not saying goodbye to the challenge, nor am I saying goodbye to all of you. I want to talk about goodbyes. This subject (depending on the context) can be a painful one. In our personal lives, saying goodbye is more often than not a bitter and uncomfortable situation. It is rare that two people who care about each other part without bad feelings or hurt. Sometimes however, it's unavoidable. After all, the greatest separator (a.k.a. Death) holds no ill will towards any of us, but eventually he takes us all.
From a literary perspective, saying goodbye can also be difficult (Disclaimer: the next bit is theoretical on my part, since I've not completed a writing project yet). Consider the latest project you finished writing. When you wrote The End, and it rushed off to publication, did you have any angst? Or were you able to release your literary child into the wild with no regrets?
Personally, I'm sure I will find it a little difficult to let go of a story and the associated characters. I tend to get caught up in the lives I'm building and I do take my writing pretty serious. Because I want to be proud of the characters I create, I put a great deal of effort into making them whole (as I'm sure all of you do). It's hard enough sharing this stuff with beta readers; I can't imagine how tough it will be sending it out into the world.
But with every sad goodbye, there should be happiness as well. If we're lucky, we have created a lot of great memories along the way. While not as wonderful as the real experience, these replayed scenes in our heads help soften the blow. They help remind us of the wonderful moments where we were left grinning like a fool while helping ease us past the empty cavity of our loss.
Maybe I'm waxing a bit poetic here, but there it is. Goodbyes are something everyone has to deal at some point. How we manage our way through them has a lot to say about not only ourselves but also what (or who) we're saying goodbye to.
You have other thoughts on goodbyes? Or do you have experience with saying goodbye to a literary work as you see it published? I'd love to hear about it in the comments.