Thursday, January 27, 2011

Tell me more about me, baby

I heard from my editor last night.  After waiting months for her feedback on the final draft of the manuscript, I was looking forward to getting everything by the end of this week.  Last night, I received an e-mail from her.

". . . [an independent reader has]  been very enthusiastic about the memoir (as I expected)--I asked him to read at least the first fifty pages and more or all if he had time. He told me that he was completely captivated by the first fifty, couldn't put it down, and really wants to finish and comment all the way through. He's perhaps a little less than halfway through at this point. I'd like to take a look at his thoughts before sending everything on to you--I'm going to keep his feedback separate so you can see how someone unfamiliar with the story reacts, of course--but I do think it makes sense to have everything together and to read his feedback to see if there are any last things to consider.  I expected him to be this enthusiastic--you really did a great job with this revision, and have written some of the toughest scenes so well. . . ."

So I won't be hearing anything until next week, and that's fine. After all this time, what's another week, right?  The thing that's bothering me is how I'm reacting to what she said:  I feel numb.

If she had criticism for me, I'd take those words, and the ones between the lines, internalize, analyze and weave them into the fabric of self-loathing and doubt I've cloaked myself in my entire life.  It's that which is most familiar to us that's easiest.

When I read her e-mail, my knee-jerk reaction was, "Bullshit. You're not ready. Why not just say so instead of all the dick-stroking?"
Isn't that awful??  I don't know if it's the addict in me, or the writer or, more likely, both.  I'm terrible at accepting compliments. The reasons could fill a book. They have filled a book.  One of the biggest things I've had to work on in recovery is accepting compliments at face value rather than assuming that everyone has ulterior motives.

Every once in a while I have the audacity to think that I'll wake up one day and be "cured" of addiction and all the twisted, illogical thinking that goes along with it.  Maybe it's enough, some days, just to be able to wake up.

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