I need it, so give it to me
On LinkedIn I received some hard feedback about my writing style and I thought it would be good to share the process I went through because many of you probably experience this too. The nice thing about this not being a real book, is that I don’t have to get it right the first time and I can respond to things in real time. It’s more alive in that way.
The feedback is that my stories aren’t very catching yet and that it made sense that an agent passed on the proposals.
My first narrative my mind told me went like this:
they are right, I have no business doing this. I’m sending garbage into people’s inboxes
what was I thinking?
you blew it.
Whenever I have thoughts like these, which I have often, I stop and pause and I feel all of it and allow myself to be negative for a while. I allow myself to believe all of the doubts and sometimes I reach incredible lows and then lay down in bed and sleep for a whole day if I have to. Once I’m done wallowing in sadness, I examine the thoughts and I look over what happened with a more non-emotional lens. Unfortunately I can’t usually do it immediately, because I can’t shut off emotions at will. I’ve sped up the time I have to spend on this process as I’ve aged so sometimes I don’t need to sleep and everything lasts maybe one hour tops.
Eventually I get to a headspace where I’m logical and driven not by emotion but one in which I’m curious about my narrative and what triggered it going down the wrong path.
It is easy to get mad and lash out when you are hurt, which is why I advise that you don’t do that but rather wait until you have more information and that information may be hidden inside of you and not something you can find online or in other interactions.
Here’s where I landed on this.
The stories you are receiving weren’t sent to my agent. They were all summarized in one introductory chapter and the book started when I hit the streets. All of this was mostly a nod so you understood where I came from.
The proposal was written by a professional writer and not me. It is far more riveting as he’s written several NYT best sellers. I’m an investor and not a writer, also I’ve never written anything that’s won awards or reached bookstores. His job was to take all of these stories and condense it into the bits that really mattered and then help me lay out a framework for people to follow.
The feedback is valid because I’ve never explained this. What you are reading I’m writing every day. It is more a stream of consciousness and memories that are coming back to me. What I wrote for the book - the 30,000 words - takes place starting at age 15.
I don’t know what I’m doing, but I am getting positive feedback. So, something is right. A lot of people are resonating with the stories and for some people identifying with them with their own personal experiences.
I want hard feedback. It helps me grow and this person had the heart to give it to me in an honestly kind way. They weren’t being mean, but instead they were being *brave*. They felt safe giving it to me.
The other feedback was to include more photos with the stories, so in the last post I tried that.
I could be wrong, but I think this format allows me to tell you more about me than a book ever really could. It’s going to be way longer than a book as a result because most of this would be scratched in favor of something much more catchy and full of quotable snippets.
Now that I’ve written 10 segments and I’m moving beyond a young child’s mind and into more complicated topics, I might start building narrative more into the stories. I’m wondering if perhaps that might be more catching. I’ll also try to describe people around me more so you get a sense of who they are. The next 10 stories I’ll play around with writing and push myself further, because that’s what this book is really about. It’s about breaking through any walls in front of you and forging ahead.
Now that I’m done with my whole emotional process, I’m incredibly thankful for the feedback. Please - keep it coming. Don’t worry if I sleep all day. That’s on me. I’m responsible for how I respond to anything coming my way. I’m not fragile and I can handle it. Stuff like this makes me stronger and more resilient and it’s an opportunity to share the process with everyone on how I handle these things, because I think other people might want some of these tools too.
I’ve done this so many times in my life that when my mind goes to dark places, I know that it’s only temporary and that optimism and time will get me to the other side of it.