07-21-18 Patricia Sargeant

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Giving Up on Hope

While researching this blog, I read an interesting article about hope. Derrick Jensen wrote, “A wonderful thing happens when you give up on hope, which is that you realize you never needed it in the first place.

After I got over my urge to grab my red pen and strike the “that” out of his sentence, I began to process the actual meaning of Jensen’s words.  Give up on hope? Is he crazy? Hasn’t hope fueled most of our lives? We start out hoping we can reach the cookie on the table, graduate to hoping we ace our math test, and become adults where hope is our most vital four letter word. We hope traffic isn’t bad so we can make it to work on time; hope we remembered to turn off that curling iron, and hope we’ll meet the man/woman of our dreams.

As writers, we hope the agent/editor will call, hope readers like our books, and hope we will someday make some bestseller list. But is Jensen correct? Should we stop hoping? Imagine, for just a moment, we could actually send out a manuscript and not think about it again until we gothe response. If we could channel the energy we put into “hoping,” into writing another book… or into something even more noble like volunteering, what could we achieve? What if we just assumed the book would garner a contract, would actually make money, and just believed the book would appeal to readers. Wouldn’t we be happier?

Giving up on hope doesn’t mean, giving up.  Nor does it mean you shouldn't think positive, just the opposite actually. Relinquishing hope forces you to live in the here and now; to stop worrying about what may happen tomorrow. For writers, it means learning to love the process of writing again, finding the power and beauty in words and stories, and refusing to worry how the manuscript will get published or who will read the pages.

To use Jensen’s words, “When you turn away from hope, you turn away from fear.” Interesting concept, huh?

I know what you’re thinking. Exactly how do I do that?”

Still working on that one.


Judith Ashley said...

I believe you actually outlined "how do I do that", Robin. Enjoy the writing process, assume all is and will be as it should, and focus on the next story or volunteering or whatever brings joy or happiness or fulfillment or ??? into your life.

If you are busy with whatever you choose, you are not in "hope".

Diana McCollum said...

Wonderful post! I never considered the relationship of Hope=Fear. You nailed it. Author: http://dianamccollum.weebly.com/

Robin Weaver, Author of Blue Ridge Fear said...

Thanks, Diana!

Tracy said...

Interesting. Never looked at it that way. Like the confidence approach.

Ashantay Peters said...

Excellent post. I believe that giving up hope is the way to go, but hoping is a hard habit to give up!

Lorraine Quinn said...

Great post! I hadn't thought about hope that way.

Sarah Raplee said...

What you're saying reminds me of the Serenity Prayer-
"God grant me the power to accept the things I cannot change..."

Accepting where we are on our journey and keeping our focus/energy on the things we DO control, like writing the next story, brings peace.

Great post!

Lori Waters said...

Very interesting!!! I never thought about it like that before. Great post.

Camille said...

Extremely interesting! As usual. :)

Linda Lovely said...

Robin, great post. There are two kinds of hope--hoping something good happens, and hoping something bad will just go away on its own. I think the second "hope" is just as important to deal with. However, in this case, the answer may not be "moving on" to something else. It may require doing everything in your power to thwart that bad thing from happening, be it having a suspicious mole checked out or researching a different solution than the one someone may want to impose on you.