Can we talk? New blog post by Andrea Frazer.
My editor called me last week.
“Hey, Andrea, do you have time to talk?”
The truth? Not really. My head was pounding. It had been a long week. I wasn’t quite adjusted to my kids being home for summer. We had no food in the house. I hadn’t had my coffee. Oh, and the gym? Where was that again and what, possibly, could the words “Tread” and “Mill” have to do with me? The only treadmill I could think of was the race I have been running the past few months to keep up with my various obligations.
That said, when is there ever a good time to talk? My life wasn’t about to slow down anytime soon.
“Sure, I can chat,” I said, attempting to sound cheerful.
That’s when my editor added the proverbial cherry on my already overloaded sundae.
“You have a decent amount of rewriting to do,” she told me.
Oh, sure, she prefaced that statement with “I really like where you’re going” and “I don’t want to lose the edginess and the humor” but what my exhausted brain heard was, “This whole thing is a piece of crud. If anyone is going to read it you’re going to need a page 1 rewrite.”
Dramatic much? Me? Never!
But here’s the deal. While my brain heard “crud” my soul heard “You’re tired, Andrea.”
I don’t know about you guys, but I’ve been at life long enough to know when to not listen to myself. I’ve made enough stupid choices, based on emotion, to know that my best thinking gets me nowhere. (Well, it actually gets me somewhere. It gets me to a place that’s dark, desperate and oftentimes just plain ridiculous. For me, the mind is like a bad neighborhood. Never go in there alone. Bring a friend for a second opinion and remember: It’s all about location location location!)
As tired as I was… As much as I wanted to go to my five year old default setting of “I don’t wanna I don’t wanna I don’t wanna” I instead heard myself talking from my forty five year old default setting. It went something like this. “I hear you. (Pause) That makes sense. (Pause) I can do a rewrite a little bit at a time based on the notes you sent me.”
Looking back over that conversation with my editor, two things come to mind:
- She’s brilliant and brave. It’s not easy giving someone notes. She did it with grace, elegance and a good dose of psychological introspection.
- Sometimes I need someone outside of myself to steer the ship.
When I hung up the phone, I didn’t feel hurt or angry. I felt peace. Often times that’s all I need to know that I did the right thing. I’ve hurt enough people in my life, and been hurt enough, to know that when my ego gets in the way, it’s never a good thing. Real truth is healing elixir.
When I think about my relationship with God, it’s not too much different than the situation with my editor. I need to get my ego out of the way. (Did you know ego stands for Edging God Out?) I need to stop thinking thinking thinking and just obey.
Lest you think I’m a mindless automaton, I’m hardly a woman who will leave my brain at the church door. But my God is one of relationship where I trust Him. Either his Word is enough for me to rethink my words, or it isn’t. When I’m lost and scared and full of rage, God’s Word brings me right back to where I need to be. And with it comes peace. After sitting in his Word, and listening to the truth, I can respond with humility.
“I hear you. (Pause) That makes sense. (Pause) I can do a rewrite a little bit at a time based on the notes you sent me.”
I look forward to sharing more of my writing journey with you. What about you? What projects are you working on? How do you feel about getting notes? Do you get crazy or do you find it easy to follow direction? What about in your spiritual life?