The Seesaw

So every once in a while, I run into something that reminds me why it is always important to remain humble. Last week, a past client of mine told me that her book had received negative feedback from several nationally syndicated radio shows. More specifically, one radio show told her flat out, “It was poorly edited.” Hold up! Wait a minute! Stop the presses! That would be a direct blow to me, not the author. I was flabbergasted, floored, and totally disturbed! I asked her to give me a copy of the finished product. When I looked at the manuscript, it wasn’t so much that she had spelling or grammatical errors, but that she had broken some rules in the writing industry that made her book look like it had not been professionally edited. For example, she wanted some words uppercase in the middle of sentences, she wanted some things bold, and even wanted some things bold, italicized and capitalized! Now as an editor, I edit, but at the end of the day, I have to give the authors what they ask for. She wanted these things this way for extra emphasis, so she said. But that had backfired on her, and me! But the words “poorly edited” are what stuck with me for a few days. I began to doubt that I should even be doing this. I began to second guess every other book that I had edited. This was the first time any of my clients had given me negative feedback so I was a tad fearful to even take another project at that point. I volunteered to re-edit the manuscript and this time, I am making the changes I know fall in line with the industry standards. If she wants to do something different after I send her the final this time around, I’m asking that she remove my name from the book as the editor.

Sometimes, the very thing that we love to do, have been doing for years and you know that you are called to do, will be tested and tried. And somewhere along the lines, your self-esteem and confidence may take a blow. It’s like being on a seesaw. At one point, you are sitting high. But as soon as someone comes and puts pressure on the other side, you are down. And this is a cycle that can continue for as long as you let it, until you choose to just get off the seesaw. Whatever you are doing, don’t quit. Don’t let other people’s negative comments and/or perceptions of what you do affect what you do. Hold your head up high. Dust yourself off. And keep it moving. There is work to be done and there is work that only you can do. Get off the seesaw and get to work!


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