Book Blog: A roller coaster journey
It’s been an 'interesting' couple of weeks, with more than my fair share of ups and downs. As you know from a previous book blog, I have started to share the content of my book with people to get their feedback. One of those people is a professional content editor.
First thing each morning I check for emails from her. She lives in Los Angeles so the emails tend to come in overnight. One morning I saw that I had received her first feedback.
I don’t know about you, but when I receive feedback, no matter how constructive or well-meaning, it’s a painful process.
I took a deep breath and clicked on ‘open’.
I was sat in my lounge, at the dining room table, with my laptop in front of me. The room was bright and well-lit from the harsh winter sun that shone through the large patio doors right next to me. I could smell the fresh coffee in my hummingbird mug on the table next to my laptop. The car key sat next to the mug, not in its usual place.
I was wearing my grey sweatshirt and joggers. My pink Ugg slippers did their best to keep my feet warm. They are always cold. My long hair was pinned behind my ears to keep it out of my eyes.
My heart was already in my mouth. I was expecting the worst news. ‘Throw this in the trash Maria, it’s not worth the paper it’s written on.’ I already felt like an old wound had been ripped open.
Old feelings of inadequacy, insecurity, and not feeling good enough had been stirred up. My confidence was knocked. I wondered if I should be writing a book at all. I wondered if I should give up the whole thing and throw in the towel. Whether I should rip it all up and go on holiday instead.
And I hadn’t read a single word that she’d written.
I could have waited and read it later. I could have given myself time to prepare for the worst. But the not knowing was worse than knowing.
I clicked on the attachment and opened the document.
I don’t like this feeling. In fact, I hate it. While I feel like this, the whole world seems like a disaster zone.
Yet I can see how the feeling and the thinking had nothing to do with the feedback. It was entirely to do with my own thought processes. We have this amazing capacity to create thoughts of inadequacy, insecurity and fear and then to believe them. I know that’s how it works.
I knew that the feeling would pass and when it did, I would feel a whole lot better. I knew that underneath the feeling I am still, always have been and always will be, ok.
Because I know this, I didn’t fight the feeling, I waited for it to pass. After a few minutes I noticed the feeling start to subside. The feeling didn’t go away immediately, the residue hung around for a while, but it didn’t have me in its grip. I was able to carry on, to read the feedback, see the wisdom in it and act upon it.
Once I start acting on the feedback, once I started to review my work, and make some changes, based on her feedback, all that feeling disappeared.
This has happened to varying degrees over the last couple of weeks. The first lot of feedback stirred up the biggest tailspin, but I still get a trace of it each time I receive some feedback. But I know what to expect. I know what it is. I know it will pass and it has stopped bothering me. I just see it as part of the roller coaster journey of writing a book.