(Read Part 1 here)
Yesterday I worked on a draft for a writing project, creating content for a website. This is completely new (and scary) for me.
I wrote two drafts and they felt like shit. Absolute shit. But an intuitive voice said to send them off to my “editor” for her feedback. That once I had her feedback, her wisdom to pull the strains of what was “good” and what was “great” would in turn help focus my writing and get me on track for the actual post I was to submit by Friday.
Off they went as tiny email attachments, with an apologetic note about how shitty I thought they were and to please not base any final product she’d hope to receive from me on the crap that she was now reading.
As soon as I sent it, dread. And then I opened up a text file and started typing what I really wanted to say. That came out a tad better, so I sent that to her too, with the same warning / disclosure / apology.
This was the first thing I’ve sent her so essentially this was the first time she’d be giving me critical feedback. She called me tonight. Returning the call, I crossed my fingers… and toes.
Not only was she incredibly encouraging, supportive and kind, but the parts I had hope for she liked, and the parts I knew were shit, she agreed were shit.
And of course she liked the 3rd draft the best, the one where I shared a personal story. Because we all know that stories are what connect us and that details make stories concrete. The issues with the drafts I disliked? I was being too general. She suggested I “fall back on my own experiences” and “where you’re coming from is valuable”.
It felt so good.
It clicked when she said that. She went on to that instead of introducing me – my bi-line- as attached to my current job, that we could focus on me. Me as this person with these experiences and then takes in other experiences, other people’s stories, and passes this info around to help people make sense of where they’re at. Like an alchemist.
And that felt even better.
Because for the past two days I’ve been reading “Fire Starter Sessions” and it’s all about just that:
“Free your talent and serve your soul” (daniellelaporte.com)
“Being your true self is the most effective formula for success there is” pg xvi in the book.
All of this feels so right – so much of the work I’ve done in the past 2-3 years has gotten me to this point. And to have a woman who I think it just the coolest ask that I create content for her site and after submitting a few drafts have her come back and say, “Yes, but more you”
And to feel obligated to tell her that I’ve never done this before and that I really needed to bounce ideas off of someone strong and supportive. And she jumped right in and said that I can email or call her any time, that this is one of her favorite things to do ever, and to have her end the conversation with saying that I am super smart and she really values my experience and input and all that I uniquely bring to the table.
The best thing was that in that 3rd draft – in the nugget of gold I’ll work from – I quote an ongoing conversation I have with my parents. Turns out my editor has the same frustrating conversation with hers. So right there – to have my experience resonate with hers – was the bright shining arrow that I’m headed in the right direction.
“If it doesn’t light you up, you’re not the right person for the job” (pg 23)