Yesterday I was contacted by one of the editors I freelance for, offering me a contract. I’m going to have to decide if I take on another project in the midst of trying to blog every single relentless doggone day, plus this wee little task of finishing Book Three of Chloe. As I decide, I need to remember I won’t just have to write the project, but I’ll have to do revisions to rewrite what my editor wants to go in another direction. Revisions are always a little tough, because I hoped I got it the first time. I’ve had editors that never give back revisions. They just take my work and turn it into what they want without any questions or feedback. But without feedback, I never know how to improve. The other extreme is to send it all back with, “This isn’t what I had in mind. Will you try it again from a different angle?” Those are not fun. I do not like those.
Sometimes in life we need feedback and revisions. Do-overs. At times, they’re for little things. Other times, we have to overhaul an entire relationship.
Years ago I had a friend who had stopped talking to me. No matter what I tried, I could not get feedback from her about why she’d dumped me. So I asked a mutual friend for insight. She gave me some of the most valuable advice I’ve ever received. She suggested I take a step back, consider myself, think about how I came across, how I entered a room, how I spoke, how I listened. She said to think about how I behaved and how that would be perceived, and how I would actually want to be perceived and what I might change to accomplish that. She gave me my first lesson in reflection and self-examination. If only we could all have such an honest, good friend. She wasn’t condemning, shaming, or critical at all. She just gave me the feedback and tools for the revision I needed in order to go forward as a better, more sensitive, more deliberate individual.
Have you thought about any revisions for yourself lately? Have you ever considered how you are perceived, how you interact, speak, listen? What kind of friend you are? It’s hard to do, if the idea feels threatening. I was fortunate enough to be guided by a safe friend the first time. May we all be lucky enough to have such a good friend. And to be one!
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