A couple of weeks ago, someone told me I was scary.
Me? Come on. I’m short. I have curly hair. One of my favorite colors is pink. My office (aka “The Bunker”) is functional, but it’s also prettily decorated–dare I say, even feminine. I’ve hung vintage dessert plates on the wall, for pete’s sake! How could someone like this be threatening?
who is also short, with curly hair, wears pink and likes vintage china.
Whatever you’ve heard, I am not the Dolores Umbridge of editing.
After pondering (aka “flipping out”) about it for a few days, I finally understood that the person meant “scary” in a Stern English Teacher kind of way. It wasn’t me in particular who was frightening, either. It was the idea of working with me, and not me in particular, either, but any editor. It was the concept of having his writing project read, judged and critiqued that gave him the heebies.
Whew. Glad we cleared that up.
I was also encouraged when, at the Pennwriters Conference last week, a person told a group that I was a good editor, but more importantly, I left a writer with her dignity intact.
Nevertheless, I’m glad that the “You’re kind of scary” comment was made. Not unlike characters in the works I read, it’s good for people to change and grow. I’ve been thinking of ways to change and grow as an editor.
Hence, I am working on my woo-woo.
In case you’re not familiar, woo-woo is the term writers (and others) give to all things supernatural, touchy-feely, paranormal, or emotion-based. Ying, yang. It’s your Zen, man.
This is sort of not me. I’m not New Age, I’m Old French. I jab at voodoo dolls instead of applying a healing touch, and the closest thing I have to a touchstone is a Jane Austen finger puppet.
But hey, grow and change. I like a good paranormal story as well as the next girl, and I’ve got some Dashboard Confessional on my iPod.
There are some editors who are big on telling their clients to go out into a field, sit on a rock and ponder the possibilities of their characters. I don’t do this. I’m more of the sit your butt in your chair and wrestle with character consistency until you get it right. Or, go for a walk and think about it, but bring a notepad, because if you don’t, you’ll have a brilliant epiphany 2.3 miles from your house, and you’ll have to run home, and by then you’ll have forgotten the brilliant epiphany. Been there, done that, friends.
But maybe because it’s been raining all week, the idea of sitting on a rock in a field while pondering the possibilities sounds appealing.
Grow and change, grow and change.
But…how? This is the challenge. Where does a practical person like moi begin on this path to be more woo-woo?
So. Have you found enlightenment beyond the glue-your-butt-to-the-chair method? Something esoteric or emo? How did you grow and change to see possibilities?