I have been editing my book the last few weeks with my writing buddy, Julie. We both read it to see where I should take out things, or add detail to make a scene spring to life. But the craziest thing about editing a document as large as a book is the mistakes I made. I’m not talking about grammar, but in my word choices. Here’s a great example: I used the word “don” 3 times in the first chapter– “don” as in “to put on”. My heroine “donned” her shoes; the hero “donned” his police uniform. Shakespeare’s characters might’ve “donned” a cap before leaving the castle, but most people don’t talk that way anymore. When my friend pointed out the fact that I was using the archaic word, I could have gotten defensive. I could’ve argued that “don” was used properly as defined in Webster’s dictionary. But you know what I did? I laughed. At myself. And I keep on laughing every time she finds something like that in my book. Because it’s funny when you put your ego aside and look at things truthfully.
This gets me right to my point: when someone points out a fault or confronts us with a mistake, are we going to go postal, defending ourselves, or will we chuckle and change, knowing that the person has our best interest at heart? In a world that is so ME centered, it’s hard to put ego or vanity aside. It’s hard to make a mistake with the world watching. But if we give ourselves permission to be human, to make mistakes and say sorry or fix it–we can look back and maybe have a good laugh at ourselves.