“Toughen up”

“Don’t take it personal.”

“Shake it off.”

“Thicken your skin.”

I must have the skin of a rhinoceros.

Being a writer may be the worst career to have if you have self-confidence issues. We basically pour our hearts into our writing, picking the perfect words to portray an incredible story to share with others, and then comes the dreaded edit.

With a few swift swipes of the red pen–well, most of my edits are done through the computer now, but still some opt to use that awful “YOU ARE WRONG” red color–our castle is reduced to the mold in the walls, the holes in the foundation, and decorations so tacky people wonder if we picked them out with our eyes closed.

Sigh…

And yet, we build a layer of thicker skin, dive back in, and spackle, clean, and redress our elaborate construct.

Only to have round two of edits find a dozen more problems no one saw in round one.

So why do we do it? Why do we put ourselves out there, time and again, to be battered down, told we are wrong, torn apart stone by stone until our very soul is exposed and cries out to just let it be good enough–for ONCE!–let it be good enough!!

My reason? Because when I read a good book, it does everything I want it to do–takes me away, wraps me up inside its pages, gives me a few hours of just me, the story, and my imagination. And to know I could give someone the same feeling…

…bring on the red pen and let’s go over it again.

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