Do you relish attention?
October 24, 2017

When an editor returns a manuscript with corrections, I’m delighted. Why wouldn’t I be? I’m not the last word on the right way to word something. When someone I respect has a suggestion for making something better, how could I read anything bad into it?

I love the attention, even if means I have work to do.

It’s almost like the feeling I get when people other than editors -- like my sweethearts -- have suggestions. At first I’m embarrassed. At first I want to say, “Ouch!” But if they’ve wrapped those suggestions in kindness I’m likely to respond in kind. “That couldn’t have been easy to tell me,” I’ll offer. And then, “Thanks.”

What’s left behind is relief. If they’re willing to tell me the difficult things, it’s easier to believe the good things. Nothing says “I care about you” like “I’m willing to tell you something that might sting” or even “I’m curious about something you do that doesn’t make sense to me.”

You can’t expect people to notice the good things without noticing the ways you could stand a little polishing. It would be like trying to take the red out of a tomato. That’s why being truly seen by someone can hurt. Relationships are always and only a work in progress.