Friday, January 18, 2013


So I've been thinking a lot about perspective recently. 

This is probably because earlier this week, one of my younger friends was devastated by a boy. You've been there, right? That moment when your dreamy, whimsical high school heart throb ends up--literally--crushing your soul? 

Oh yeah... I SOOOOO have.

I'm afraid that maybe I didn't react as sensitive to said soul crushing as I ought to have. And I got to thinking that it was probably because my perspective has matured like ninety nine point nine hundred thousand (yes, I'm aware I'm making up numbers) times since I was her age. 

I'd had multiple boyfriends when I was young. 

Settled down with a high school sweet heart. 

Had my heart CRUSHED by said high school sweet heart. 

Become a man eater in college. 

And was finally snagged by the Prince Charming of prince charmmings. A guy so perfect for me that I would never have been able to pick him out, if I'd been given a whole catalogue of prince charming characteristics to choose from!

I've been to the soul crushing place. Survived. And come out realizing that in retrospect? That heart wrenching moment when the man at the center of your high school world decides he doesn't want you... just doesn't even matter. 

But that's perspective for you. 

Its like writing. 

A couple months ago, an agent showed interest in reading part of my manuscript, then flattened my ego with a meat pounder me when she said she didn't like certain aspects of it that needed to be changed. Things I did NOT want to change. I had a discussion with her about these things, and when we were through, decided to just say "Pooooo on you, agent!" and move onto the next query.

But her comments stuck with me.

They were painful. And I didn't like hearing them. And I even rejected their potential worth. But eventually? I made the changes.


I just finished revising and rereading the whole book with said agent's suggestions, and the work has improved. Its more intense. It grabs the reader. It grounds them more thoroughly in the story. And those little elements that I thought were such a big deal when she first suggested the ax?

Not even important.

I'm sure when we all get to the other side of success, we'll realize that concept on an even grander scale. That all those late nights of revising, moments of utter and complete writer's block, not to mention the soul-sucking, heart-wrenching agent rejections and criticisms that seemed like SUCH A BIG DEAL AT THE TIME.... were not only "not that big of a deal," but that they ended up DEFINING who we are as writers. 
Perspective... brought to you by your daily
dose of bumper sticker wisdom.

Those moments world-altering hurt, embarrassment, and pain? They define you. Shape your future. Teach lessons. And make you--and your writing--into the final finished, beautiful product.

So persevere, fellow writers! And keep it all in perspective.


prerna pickett said...

great post and so true. I need this in mind as I enter the query trenches.

Shell Flower said...

Great words of wisdom. It seems like SUCH a big deal in high school when that boy disses you, but later you realize it only hurt because he was kind of right. Critiques can be just as hard to take. Once you grow and change enough to get that perspective, you see that it's not such a big deal in tne end. If only we could see that at the time, though...

Julie said...

Prerna: Gah!!! GOOD LUCK!!!! That's a scary, scary place to be. But seriously... I've found that the query process is a GOLD MINE of amazing advice. The agents tell it like it is, and although painful, I think this whole process has been one of the biggest benefits to my writing. So persevere, dear friend! YOU CAN DO IT!!!

Shell: Oh preach it, sista!! IF ONLY!!!! I'm totally with you on that one. Too bad perspective is only a one way, BACKWARDS LOOKING street, eh? Haha ( :

Peggy Eddleman said...

I so agree! It can be very hard to deal with that criticism at first. It definitely takes perspective to really see it for what it's worth!

Heather said...

Excellent advice, expertly said. ;) I love this. It is indeed all about perspective.