Friday, March 4, 2011

Thank You Naomi

After pouring my heart out (and thank you for all the kind and interesting responses - so many of us writers struggling, I pray you all are pressing on) and then realizing I had to make some fixes I have still not finished the partial that was due on my editor's desk last Monday.

I miss deadlines. A lot. But not BY a lot. I do not miss early deadlines but suspect more and more this may become the norm because, well, I no longer have confidence that I can do it.

Five years ago my heart stopped. Really. It was a meds thing, but the result was that my heart went crazy, I experienced aphasia (thought I made sense, speaking gibberish) then passed out. Hubby, who had been a health care provider for 20+ years, said my heart had stopped. He thought I was dead. Minutes later it started and we were off the the ER then heart Hosp.
From the moment I got there everyone, and I mean EVERYONE (even other patients) said to me - "You're the kind they say is fine, send home and she drops dead".
Over and over and over.
I tell you that to tell you this: God Bless Naomi Judd.
She was on the health channel on TV while I was there and spoke about her own health issues by warning people - Doctors will put a hex on you, they will say things to you and your mind and body set about making it come true. And the docs don't even understand they are doing it, they think they are being frank, preparing you and I am saying to you, don't let their words become your reality. 

I heard that message and I guess you could say I took it to heart.

A couple of years ago I had an editing experience that was beyond brutal. It was, in fact, abusive. That it was from a Christian publisher and that neither my (now ex) agent or the Sr editor stepped in made it worse. IOW There was no Naomi Judd to remind me that I had some power in my own situation.

I have NEVER been confident of my writing since then, Awards, sales, honors, fan letters, nothing has repaired the damage of that nasty, cruel and actually pointless edit. And my career has suffered. I did tell the Sr Edit that the experience broke my heart. As someone who has had a broken heart, literally, I am telling you it was actually worse. Because the real deal made me stronger. The one that broke my writer's heart has also broken my spirit, dashed my hopes and dreams and left me doubting.

If I can do nothing more I hope to be someone's Naomi Judd. That is not to say don't listen to advice about your career or writing, but do not let SOMEONE ELSE'S OPINION DEFINE YOU AS A WRITER.

I wish I had an inspiring end to this like reporting today I signed an amazing contract for that book of my dreams. Not today.

Instead, today I am going to force myself to finish editing 10 more pages, send them off and worry that they won't be good enough.