Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Saying Good-bye to Your Baby

by Katie Hines

We took our youngest daughter to college. We packed up her clothes, her bedding, her art supplies (she's an interior design major), and a bunch of this and that and headed down the road. It was really tough on me. When our oldest moved out, it was hard, but not as hard as this time because our daughter is going to college three hours away, while our oldest lives down the road.

I have to admit I cried when we left her, and then again that night while waiting to go to sleep. I'm sure that being empty-nesters is going to appeal to me, but maybe not today.

The grief I experienced was not because of the days she's been gone, but because of the days she will be gone. Never again will we enjoy her living here for a long period of time. Our little bird has flown from the nest, and doggone but she seemed happy to go!

When I got to thinking about it, I realized that she was confident to leave the nest because we had created a sense of security for her as she grew up. So we did it right!

What does this have to do with writing? Well, when our novel (our baby) is ready to be pushed out of the nest, sometimes we're not as ready for it to go as it is. Case in point. My book, Guardian. It needed to leave the nest. I had edited it out the wazoo, and was hanging on to it when I should have let it go. It has since been published. If I had held on to the book, like I wanted to my daughter, it would never have found a new home, and I would have kept it due to an emotional attachment and (let’s be honest here) a bit of fear, resulting in a reluctance to push it out.

The tears? Well, they came too because I got a book contract. So there is joy in being an empty nester. You just have to have the right perspective and be willing to say "good-bye" to your baby.

Katie Hines is the author of Guardian, a middle grade urban fantasy, published by 4RV Publishing.


  1. Katie,
    I enjoyed your comparison very much! I can benefit from it because I have too many babies still underfoot. I need to find them a good home as soon as I finish teaching them to tie their shoes, make their bed, do the laundry, etc. Seriously, my manuscripts do need a little more polishing before I send them out, but I promise to let them go when they're ready. Meanwhile, I need to set a date for their going away party. Otherwise, they may be content to hang out here for years.

  2. Our characters really do come to life for us, don't they, and feel just like children who need lots of help and encouragement to make their own way in the world. Thanks, Katie, for the touching article.

  3. Great analogy, Katie. Ladies, keep in mind that even once your kids are grown and out, there are usually grandkids and babysitting to follow! :)