There’s a reason we say “I love you” even when we’re angry. Just because we are experiencing intense, unpleasant emotions toward someone or a circumstance incurred by them, does not mean we don’t continue loving the people in our lives.
Love is important.
Anger is a natural reaction that occurs when we believe a person, object (yes, object. I get angry and punch objects all the time,) or event upsets our personal order or does us some injustice. Anger is natural. It is also dangerous. In our anger, we might do or say something brash. We lash out, pick fights, get defensive, or even go so far as allow ourselves to hate the offender.
That is why we choose to continue loving the people in our lives. That’s why when your spouse or significant other is being dumb, it’s important to say – out loud – “I love you.”
Even when you don’t feel it…
You’re letting them, and yourself, know it’s going to be okay. You remind them, and yourself, what’s really important. You speak a conviction and uphold a promise you made to them, and yourself.
I love you.
And I always will.
Even when I don’t feel like it.
Because you’re worth the choice.”
Because you matter.
And I love you.
*Usual disclaimers apply. Seek help in the event of unlawful abuse, mental or physical, or detriment of health is incurred on your person as an act of violence or malicious intent by someone else.
Me: I can totally finish editing this book by tonight!
*Glances down at page bar. Pages read out of total page count – 53/147.*
Also me: I’m never going to finish…
A WORD ON EDITING
Editing is when a writer becomes inundated with her own work. The read-through, rereading, excessive reading, looking-up/looking-back/looking-through, not to mention shipping it off to an editor who will instruct you to go through his edits carefully, after which you really should follow up with a polish read, then send off to a beta reader (or two or three – not all at once, mind you. You really should only send to one beta at a time in order to keep all edits concise.) Once they’re through, you’ll find yourself going over their edits, which means more reading.
Does it ever end?
This part can be discouraging for writers. It’s a well-known truth that too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. You might find yourself getting bored with your own work. Certain scenes may sound useless and trivial. The ending might feel muddled, confusing, or just plain bad. It’s tempting to give up sometimes. But sometimes, this is where the rubber meets the road and you’re faced with the awe-inspiring realization that you have created something spectacular.
This is the moment every writer lives for. Acknowledgment for oneself that the work is indeed good. You might think the “moment every writer lives for” is when readers first get their hands on a copy of the book, but I say that’s an inaccurate statement. In order to believe what others might say about us, we must first believe it for ourselves.
A hundred people can call you pretty/handsome, but until you look in the mirror and believe it for yourself, those compliments fall on deaf ears.
Your parents may call you brave and stalwart, but until you face down your own fears and see the hero within, you will simply think “they’re being nice.”
A teacher might say that you’re intelligent, creative, but until you review the work of your hands and see the product for what it is – intelligent, creative – you will say, “They’re just trying to be encouraging. They don’t believe it.”
See? If you don’t believe in yourself, you won’t believe in others either.
Because this book I’m working on is the sequel in a two-part series, I reread the first book to refresh my memory on the characters and working of the plot. It has been perhaps two years since I published the first book, so I was pleasantly surprised by how much I had forgotten. It took me three days to read it.
Maybe that’s a small book. Or maybe I simply couldn’t put it down.
Arrogant? I think not. There’s nothing wrong with getting excited about your own work. If you don’t, no one else will. There’s a difference between bragging excessively and wanting to share something you are passionate about.
Forgetting and rereading the first book cemented in my mind that, yes, I had created something spectacular. You see, after publication, I revert to this overwhelming phobia that my work wasn’t polished up to par, or that I didn’t describe the world well. Sometimes I fret that the characters aren’t true to themselves, or that readers will discover all my plot holes. I become paranoid. My work isn’t good. My writing is terrible. Now everyone will see it.
(Admittedly I would like to polish up the first book more, just because I’ve learned so much about editing in the past two years, and I would like to fix the esthetic appeal of the read.)
In my rediscovery, I found the story flowed exceedingly well. I was impressed with my own characters. I cheered for their growth and successes. My heart began to pound everytime they encountered danger, and the horror of the cliffhanger left my palms sweaty and my hands shaking.
This was everything I dreamed it would be.
Now I’m 53 pages into the second installment. I have been meticulously editing, molding, reshaping the words so that they are their clearest, so that they speak their best, describe their best, and read their easiest. I have been merciless, cutting out anything that detracts from the story. And the most surprising realization is that there is no pain in editing.
People like to say that editing feels like your heart being torn out, but I’ve never experienced that – thank the Maker. My purpose in writing is to tell a story and introduce these characters – these delightful little people I’ve imagined – to the world. I want them to look their best, so I wipe off their smudges, scrub the dirt off them, polish and shine them, and proudly look on as they make their way across the stage.
Editing should not be all painful.
Editing should be the proudest moments of your project. When you can honestly look down at the work and say, “Yeah. This is really good. And it can be better.”
I want to encourage you – whatever you’re working on – that this can be an exciting and rewarding time. If you enter the editing mode with grudging and fear, you will experience grudging and fear. But if you enter with positivity, excitement, and hope, then you will experience those feelings instead.
The Squid from Quid
A short story poem
Once upon a time
in the land of Quid,
there came a strange
and peculiar squid.
He had no ink
or cloud to spread.
Truth be told,
he'd rather be dead.
Because all his peers
they teased him bad.
He had no friends,
which made him sad.
And so one day
when he was down,
he explored on his own
and got out of town.
Deep in the ocean
away from his home,
he had time to think
and be on his own.
He saw all the coral
and moved through the weeds.
He saw all the many
variety of reeds.
It made him think
since no plant was the same,
that maybe his peers
were really quite lame.
To think that all squids -
the young and the old -
should all be the same,
not to shy, not to bold.
He thought he was broke
all his life he felt so.
But now he felt changed
and now he felt whole.
The next time squids laughed
or called him mean names,
he reminded himself
he was not to blame.
Each squid has a purpose
though some may not see it,
and maybe one day
he would grow up to be it.