Take-Away Value, in stories and in life

Standard

“The pen that writes your life story must be held in your own hand.”
Irene C. Kassorla

“The first part is really good, until you start interjecting your opinions about discipline and child rearing. Isn’t this supposed to be about parenting and body language?” said my husband.

I sat on the edge of the bed, as usual, while he read the story aloud. Typically it’s an effective way to self-edit and receive his feedback.

Tonight, I wasn’t in the mood.

Behind his back, I stuck out my tongue. Then I bit it.

“Don’t shoot the editor because he shot down the take-away value. Don’t shoot the editor because he shot down the take-away value. Don’t shoot the editor because …”

He spun around in the office chair, interrupting my thought, “It’s okay that I’m telling you this, right?”

“Of course. I want the article to be focused. And I’m glad you’re willing to be so honest.”

Honest. More like rip my work to shreds with no regard to all the hours I spent writing it.

More like get a red pen and bleed all over my laptop screen.

More like … oh, forget it.

I tried to rewrite while he drifted to sleep with a good book (someone else’s well-written writing). 

By the time I crawled into bed, he was snoring.

“G’night,” I said. “By the way, my take-away value got taken away. There’s no point to the story at all.”

“You’ll figure it out,” he said.

“No, I won’t.”

Turns out, he was right a second time. I figured it out.

The following afternoon, I emailed the article to the next editor.

Ever feel more like feeling sorry for yourself than figuring out the take-away value?

WRite wHere I’m supposed to be – We are responsible for the take-away value in our stories and in our lives. We’re to write it again and again until it’s the way we want it. Otherwise, there’s really no point to it at all.

On the lighter side: That’s a photo of my husband, and that’s his editor face when I start whining. Lucky I captured it, it happens so seldom.

Advertisements

2 responses »

  1. This post hits very close to home with me. My husband is also my best and worst critic, but always lovingly honest. But as you concluded we have to be genuine and authentic or there is defintely no point in doing it at all.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s