Saturday, August 9, 2008

How thick is your skin?

We looked a little at self-editing yesterday.

So, what happens if you don't bother to check your work? Probably the most embarrassing thing - other than missing a deadline - you could be called on a doozy of a typo... by the client. Easy enough to avoid if you'll take a final look before you submit a project.

But what happens if you get feedback that's less than glowing - and it's not a matter of an editorial goof? How do you deal with feedback that hurts?

It happens to all of us - no matter how well you write. There are going to be times when what you produce just doesn't quite mesh with what the client's expecting. Or maybe they weren't sure what they wanted... but they know you didn't nail it.

I'll admit it here - I really, really prefer working with clients who love what I send, the first time around. It feels wonderful to be on the same wavelength as a client, and to nail the project by providing exactly what they would have written if they'd been able to (or had the time).

But sometimes that just doesn't happen. And painful as it is, that means taking a look at where the project jumped the tracks. What did I miss? How can I fix it? Sometimes it requires a complete rewrite (ouch!). Sometimes it's just a matter of tweaking and shifting.

Always, though, it requires a cool head and a gracious heart. No matter how tempting it might be to yell, "Hey, knuckle-head, why didn't you tell me THAT in the first place???!" or something like that - you know you can't.

Part of being a writer is dealing with feedback. But if you look at it objectively, feedback is always an opportunity for improvement - even if it hurts a little.

No comments: