The blog you’re reading is not the one scheduled for today. In what might be called a divine detour, I decided to pull it for now. I asked someone to preview that blog. His response falls in the category of “Be careful what you ask for; you just might get it.”
He sent me an email in which it seemed nearly everything about the blog was inaccurate and rendered the opinion it should not be published. Well, that version isn’t going to be. I was writing about a culture not my own.My intention was to tell a part of their story that has been ignored or grossly misinterpreted. With that feedback, I decided not to go forward with the post.
If Not This, Then What?
But I really didn’t know what to do in response. I thought my blog about this particular community would increase awareness and put a few bricks in the road to a better understanding of their culture and encourage more respect for them. According to the person I asked for confirmation of that, the blog would accomplish the exact opposite.
I admit it. I was more than discouraged. I was wondering if maybe writing is a nice hobby, but no longer an endeavor worthy of the amount of time and energy – not to mention money – I’ve been pouring into it. I don’t write for the money; but I do expect to make at least sufficient money from my writing to cover what I spend learning, promoting, and researching in preparation for writing.
When You Don’t Know What To Do, Don’t Do Anything
My first instinct after reading his review of my work was to do nothing. Not write back to justify my words. Not pitch it out the window. Just let it simmer a bit. Ironically, I read the email as I was leaving the parking lot of a truly beautiful retreat center where a group I’m with will be having a retreat in a couple of months. We do this once a year. The person in charge of the facility is new and we needed to meet to go over the logistics of our retreat.
So, I was in a good place to hit the pause button for a few minutes, take a deep breath, suggest to God that if this writing gig was actually part of some Master plan, a little reassurance would be helpful right about now. Then I headed home.
On the way home the name of the woman editing my forthcoming book popped into my head. Hm, maybe she could render a second opinion – or refer me to someone who could. We talked. I told her that I needed some feedback. First, she made few encouraging comments about the manuscript she’s editing on my behalf. Overall her words were encouraging. I doubt she had any idea how much they meant on this particular day.
She offered to take at a look at the blog, and perhaps also have someone else take a look at it as well. By then I was in a better frame of mind. I responded to the first reviewer and acknowledged the negative feedback. I let him know I would rewrite it and not use his name. Further down in my email in-box I found a notice from a someone on the publishing team for the new book notifying me the one-page promotional piece was ready for review.
In yet another e-mail I got notification that a deposit for something I wrote several months ago is on its way to a bank near and dear to me.
Let me close by noting that bad reviews are part and parcel of putting our opinions out there in public. If I hadn’t wanted someone’s opinion, I wouldn’t have asked for it. However, getting feedback from a paid professional that I was totally mistaken about things I’ve spent months and months researching, sent me on a detour. That detour has led in part to this post you are reading.
Into each life some bad days will come. Detours are part of life. When they come along, it’s good to remember that no day lasts more than 24 hours. This too shall pass. One person’s opinion is just that – the opinion of one person. It’s always good to get more than one opinion. If the route we’re on, turns out not be the right one, there are likely many, many other paths forward. Maybe there is something on the detour we need to see, hear, or experience.
The deleted blog may or may not appear here at some point in the future. For the next few weeks I’ll be introducing you to other authors and their stories about how they get their stories to you and why they do that. I hope you’ll enjoy the behind-the-scenes tour of the world of literature and authors.
And thanks for reading. Do you have any tips to share about divine detours you’ve taken? Let’s hear them.