Saturday, April 28, 2012

A to Z Challenge: Y

Theme: Creativity Toolbox

Y = Yield

1. To provide as return for effort or investment.
2. To give over possessin of, to surrender.

One of my husband's co-workers recently retired, and since he is planning a retirement celebration vacation down in Las Vegas (where his son works as a professional poker player), the send off included a slide show set to Kenny Rogers' "The Gambler":

"You got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em,
Know when to walk away, and know when to run"

Due to an interesting childhood raised in a home where Broadway musical scores, Beethoven, Bach, Tchaikovsky were played alongside Harry Belanfonte, The Kingston Trio, Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers, I happen to know the lyrics to that song really well . . . and when my husband told me about the retirement party, they just stuck in my head the rest of the week and became mixed up with today's post.

As creative artists/writers, we need to know when to hold onto our work, and when to let it go.

Yielding isn't something that comes to most of us naturally, and most of the time we pride ourselves as creative writers, artists, and thinkers as being UNyielding.

However, if we want someone to read our work, we have to let it go and let others read it, give us feedback, help us make it stronger. If we truly want our work to yield a good harvest, we have to let others help us prune and weed.

Sometimes, we also need to know when to walk away, and when to run.

I have a book with several attempts at revisions sitting in a plastic box in my closet. Someday I want to return to it. I still love those characters. But I realized several years ago that I had to set it aside, fold it up, and walk away from it for a while. I yearn for it, but I know I'm not ready to tackle it yet. I've yielded it up to a future time, when I'm ready to tell that story.

Do you know when to yield and when to remain unyielding in your creative endeavors?

Have you ever yielded your work to someone else for constructive criticism?

BTW: my laptop had some major issues, so for the past few days I've been working somewhat haphazardly from my husband's pc (usually in use by him), and my laptop was cleaned off and rebooted (by my hubby who probably has better "tech"ese to describe the process) So, hopefully now I'll be able to visit a few more people in the last few days of A to Z.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I have two test readers and three critique partners I trust and they are usually spot-on with their suggestions.

Luanne G. Smith said...

I have someone reading some pages for me now, and it does require a certain yielding on our part to let go and accept another's critique. We also have to learn to let go when they are right and make the changes that need to be made. That is a big part of revision.

Tasha Seegmiller said...

When I had my CP's start reading, I realized how many holes were in my story - they are an amazing sounding board.

Mary Aalgaard said...

Great analogy. I've set a couple novels aside. I think you can lose your energy for them, or they need a rest while you try something new. After a while, you can go back and look at them in a new way.

Play off the Page

Anonymous said...

Excellent post, Tyrean. It takes a while to learn "how" to yield. ...I'm getting there.

Bethie said...

How funny that we both had the same theme for Y. I'm glad I found you on AtoZ