Last night I went to dinner with one of my honest friends. You know, the ones you can’t live without but whose honesty sometimes causes a disturbance to the force? My former trainer once told me that my stories left her feeling perturbed. Even so, I’m pretty sure I’m the only client to which she gave two very expensive running jackets and a handmade scarf appliquéd with a quote by Maya Angelou. The quote was something like people don’t want to know how smart you are; they want to know that you care. It was a hint. Anyway, as I said yesterday in a random FB post, love-hate relationships drain me. Not that I hate my honest friends, but sometimes I hate facing the things about myself that they lovingly point out for my own good.
God’s love can sometimes hurt, but so far the pain has been temporary.
Anyway, the dinner feedback was fundamental, foundational, essential, and incredibly important to the “wholeness” of the storyline. At first, I knew everything she said was spot on. And then I panicked behind my mask of appreciation, thinking only about the risks associated with opening the patient up again and tinkering with the story’s innards, thereby inviting yet another very expensive round of copyediting since I’m sure to make mistakes. I stared back at her as she spoke, my mind rushing to find answers that would protect my pocketbook while addressing the issues she had the smart-woman insight to call out.
Normally this kind of thing would be old hat for a consultant, right? But I’ve got to tell you, this process of putting my book out there for the beta readers to review and then waiting for their feedback (while only crickets can be heard) has set me afloat in liminal space, a disorienting position where I’m not sure what to do with myself. I’ve been walking around the house, entering rooms I’d had no intention of walking into, forgetting why I climbed the stairs to the second floor for the fifth time, talking to my gym’s manager about expensive trainer packages, and swimming in questions about what I should do next to market the book. I’ve dubbed the marketing area of my writing business as “the slot-machine” because I can throw a LOT of money at Facebook Ads and get zip in return, unless I target South Africa. South Africa is always good for about 40 clicks a day. But then they don’t have access to Amazon, so…
It’s an interesting time. I’ve told God on many occasions that I’m “all in.” I don’t recommend saying that to Him. It seems so much easier when I’m out on the patio enjoying the tickle of a breeze on my face and sensing that He’s right there. But I don’t spend all my time on the patio, and therein lies the rub. The patio doesn’t ask me for much. But God asks me for everything I’ve got. When I give Him all I believe is necessary, He asks for more. This is one of those times. I put what I thought was enough personal junk in the book to keep the story afloat.
But He wants more.
Argh…last night I entertained the idea of not publishing. I find it helps to go to the worst case scenario in order to snap myself out of it. Kind of like Cher slapping Nicholas Cage in Moonstruck, except without the pain.
He wins, again chipping away at my boundaries to get just a little bit more. Today I work the problem, deeding the space to Him.
Resignation is sometimes a great refresher of the spirit.