Entry 1: I Have Seen the Light
June 2, 2015: I guess I’ll start with how the Starz TV show The Chair, helped me understand why feedback is important.
I just finished draft number, I swear 150+ and submitted it to my publisher for feedback. So, here’s how it works to clarify the process of publishing. You write a book, edit it, edit it some more, then edit it again, then edit it a million more times then you submit it thinking you’re done, or atleast you think you’re done. You wait for feedback because now they have to send it out to a focus group. The type of feedback may be, if the book is readable meaning the reader can understand it and you don’t totally suck. Does it make sense, yada, yada, yada. So of course after editing the story about 150 times, I think I have a Picasso. I submit it and wait for my brilliant reviews. But wait, not so fast….
Before I continue, let me just state that I had great feedback concerning the book, but keep in mind that my little tiny brain thinks I have a Picasso so any questions or wonderings was, well like questioning God.
So there was feedback in which the book read as if it were from the 1800’s. Now mind you a part of the book reflects that time period as the basis for Debbie’s, well you have to read it… So, my little ego was crushed. Something in my best-selling, wonderful, the best thing since slice cheese book needed further explaining. I started planning my goodbyes. I wrote a will leaving all of my ten dollars in my account to my children to be given to them in two parts-one when they turn 18 and the other 21. I came clean to my husband telling him I never loved him because he didn’t look like, Brad Pitt. I told my mother-in-law that her tomato soup needed more tomatoes. I was ready to end it. Ready to kick the bucket. My tombstone would read: “Here lies Habeeba, the greatest un-published writer there ever lived. God bless this genius.”
But low and behold, I just so happen to be turning the channel, as I wallowed in self-pity, and watched an episode of The Chair. Ha. Let me tell you what happened next. Both of the finalist, films were being critiqued. Focus groups were watching to provide feedback as to what worked and what didn’t. And at that moment, I had an ah-ha moment. It was like God opened the heavens and said, “Let there light!” I finally understood the importance of feedback. So, what did I do next?
I made changes and explained the part that I needed to based on the feedback I received and then I asked for more feedback. I realized that it would only help me improve my story. I guess now I’ve become sort of like the feedback queen.
So what is the lesson I learned?
That’s simple-when God opens the heavens and lets in all that light, make sure you wear shades.