Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Learn to Surrender

Surrender can be the hardest thing.

Yet, at times it’s vital, especially for creative types such as writers and artists. We must surrender to our muse to create something authentic, but when it comes to querying agents, submitting to editors, or choosing between what the market wants and what our heart demands, we forget how to surrender.

I’m not talking about throwing your hands up in defeat when something doesn’t go the way you wanted or expected.

I’m talking about letting go and accepting the process.

For writers, it might mean learning from a rejection letter and refusing to throw a pity party. Simply accepting that some may receive ten rejections while the universe may be more generous to others, giving them hundreds, but every writer has faced it.

We live in an age of gratification on demand. We’ve come to perceive instant reward for a job we think has been well done as an entitlement. A healthier approach, which may preserve your sanity along the way, is surrendering to the fact patience is often required, while keeping your eye on the prize.

Perhaps pregnancy has helped enlighten me. For nine months, I’m forced to accept the changes of my body and prepare for the changes of my life. All as I wait for my prize at the end of this amazing adventure: my first child.

Although surrender is hard (nothing worthwhile is easy), it definitely makes the journey to your destination so much more fulfilling.

So if you’re having a bad day, or week, or month, cry if you absolutely must, then dry your tears and realize: it’s all a part of the process. Your time will come.

Do you surrender when you write or in other areas of your life? If so, do you think you’re happier because of it? If you’ve never surrendered, are you willing to give it a try?

Thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh for starting the Insecure Writer’s Group.


  1. I guess surrendering is the same as putting it in perspective. I learned that giving up being a control freak is freeing to the spirit.

  2. What a wonderful post. I lack patience in a lot of areas. You're right. It's an instant gratification world.

  3. Thanks for the post, Isis. You are right. Surrendering is not throwing your hands up in defeat; it is freeing yourself from something that you know is entangling you. I've had to surrender to a couple of things just this week. And letting go and seeing things for what they are has been quite liberating. Thanks again. :)

  4. Leigh ~ Way to go on freeing your spirit.

    Brinda ~ Couldn't we all use a little more patience :)?

    Linda ~ Welcome to Liberation! It's a beautiful thing.

  5. Being of a certain age, it's not about surrender, it just the way things are. My body simply will not do what it once did. It's all about acceptance.

  6. This is a good reminder. I don't surrender as often as I should.

  7. Great post Isis.
    I think I surrender, mostly because if I don't I only end up stuck.
    I like 'your time will come'-so hopeful :)

  8. I think if we take things as it comes, then surrender is something which will come naturally (and our gut feeling says "this is the place where you have to give in")

  9. You're right, we're trained to want things now, to rush to the end. But the journey matters just as much.

  10. Whenever I struggle with the idea of surrender, I try to remind myself that I am the only one who can write my book, because it's mine. If you enjoy the process, it is its own end.

  11. Accepting things the way they are--looking the truth straight in the eye without flinching--makes it possible for me to write what lies in my heart. Surrender is a good word for what that feels like.
    Great post!

  12. Good post. I think there is often freedom in surrender - the peace that comes with letting go and knowing that there is a greater power at work in the universe who will help us if we are prepared to put in the effort and then trust.

  13. Oh jeeze, I am so tired of shedding tears. Not for my writing, well, not entirely for my writing, but for the changes in life that were unexpected. I do have to accept it and keep moving forward. Thank you.

  14. Honestly, I'm so used to just doing stuff I never think about whether there might be something at the end of it :-)