I met with my editor this morning. For some writers, this is a tenuous, fearful encounter. One's creativity can be closely related to one's identity, so feedback can feel like open heart surgery with full consciousness.
But I'm something of a feedback junkie. And there comes a point when an artist can no longer see the piece with objectivity. There comes a point where I don't know how to fix it, don't know what is good at all, can't recall why I have been hired to be such an impostor, and really need someone to say yay or nay. Yes, it's good; or no, it's just not.
I very nearly skipped into the coffee shop this morning. I am ready. Lay it on me. Tell me to start over. I was so excited for a new breath, a new momentum, even if that meant "Control, Alt, Delete. Open Blank Document. Save as New."
Bruce is brilliant. Brilliant, I tell you. He had a few teasing pokes in my ribs:
"Tricia, use less parentheses, though I know how you love them. And less of the word veritable. And we need to wage war against the word just."
Sometimes you just don't know your habits. (I have just a veritable plethora of them.)
And then? Ready? Get this.
He said, "I have some suggestions, but not much work for you to do. If, perish the thought, we were to die of coffee poisoning at this table, and if someone found this manuscript in our remains, it's a very beautiful piece, ready to be published."
It would have been okay if he told me to start over.
And it's okay that he didn't say that at all.
Because he didn't say that at all.
(Insert squealing girl who is clicking her heels in the air and spinning pirouettes in her kitchen.)