On Letting Go

I’m going to get very personal with you. And some of my thoughts have to do with God, but if you don’t believe in God, you can switch it out for destiny or fate or just that thing inside you that feels like it is bigger than you and connects you to the world.

I never planned on being a writer. I never even wanted to be one. But one night, the words of a picture book started running through my head and I couldn’t fall asleep. Two hours later, I finally got up and wrote down the words. Sleep finally came. The next day, I read those words and realized they weren’t half bad (they weren’t half great either, but that’s beside the point.) And my writing journey began.

There have been so many parts of this journey that felt directed, guided, influenced by some higher power. I feel like my entire pathway has been littered with signs of His hand. The critique partner who popped up and offered her help just as my first dysfunctional and unhelpful group totally crumbled away. Getting into a writing contest. Having my first mentor not fulfill her duties with my first manuscript so that I got a second chance with the contest, but this time with the kind of books I’m actually good at writing. Miraculously scoring an agent with a huge and strong track record in verse novels right when I was beginning to draft a verse novel. Finding the perfect initial reader for that manuscript who has believed in me far more than I can believe in myself.

To me, these all feel like signs.

Yes, this is supposed to happen.

Yes, this is what God wants me to do.

Which always leads to the next thought. So, yes, this book will get published.

But it might not.

And that is the terrifying reality of going on sub. I have done everything I possibly can for my book. And now I can’t do anything else.


There’s always that point for us writers, isn’t there? When you hit send on that query. When your book is published and in the hands of readers. When it is being read by editors.

When you lose control of it. The story. It’s out there and you can’t control how it will be received.

And how do we deal with that lack of control? We obsess, we stress, we eat.

I pray.

Over and over for the last year I have been praying for this book.

Please God, help me write the story You want me to tell.

Help me know how to fix this.

Please help my book sell. Please, please, please.

That last line seems to fill up all my spoken and unspoken prayers lately.

It isn’t a totally selfish desire. My book is full of light and love. But it isn’t selfless either. I worked hard on that book. Is it wrong to wish for success from that?

But I had a moment of revelation the other morning when I was out walking.

God knows what I want.

He already knows.

And He knows how much I want it.

And He helped me get to this point.

But if this book is not supposed to get published, it won’t. If it’s supposed to sell, it will. All the praying in the world won’t change that. I have done all I can do, and now the only thing left is to let go. And maybe it seems silly and prideful to finally have to kneel down and feel the pain in your heart when you whisper “Thy will be done.” And maybe it’s a little wrong to add the caveat to God of, “But if it’s not supposed to happen, please just help me understand.”

But I finally feel at peace about all of it. Which is saying a lot for being on submission.

That moment when I finally said, “God, You know what I want. You know how I feel. But I want what You know is best,” felt like losing all the anxiety and stress of trying to control something that I no longer have control over.

So all this is to say, that if you have allowed yourself to be led by God or destiny, or the promptings of your heart. If you’ve worked and done all you can and now you’re losing control of that thing you’ve dedicated countless hours to. It’s okay. It’s okay to let it go.

I’m back to praying for inspiration. I’m praying to get better at this, to grow my talent, to bring light to the world.

What will happen, will happen.

It’s okay to let go.


Amanda Rawson Hill grew up in southwest Wyoming with a library right out her back gate, which accounts a lot for how she turned out. She now resides in central California where she is a gardener, chemist, homeschool mom, Yosemite explorer, and Disneyland enthusiast. She writes middle-grade fiction and is represented by Elizabeth Harding at Curtis Brown LTD.

3 thoughts on “On Letting Go

  1. Last May, I went to a writers conference in Utah. It was SO awesome, but by the end of a butchered manuscript consultation (things went wrong with that before I even arrived), I felt totally crushed and made a hard decision to shelve my manuscript.
    So I went to the temple across the street and prayed (with the intention of quitting writing forever).
    By the time I left, I was strongly prompted to pursue an idea I’d written in the margin of my journal several month prior. I don’t know if it will ever be published, buy it has definitely made me a better writer and helped me figure out how to write an intruiging plot.
    “Letting go” was a good decision and an easier decision when I feel God’s hands guiding me in the next direction

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  2. This is a beautiful post, Amanda! I, too, have had to let go of many manuscripts. (Too many to count.) I know how difficult and freeing it can be. I have a dating on the wall in my living room: “Pray about everything. Worry about nothing.” Easier said than done, but it does help. Thanks for your post!


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