If I had my way I would stay in my comfort zone and never make a mistake.
But two things have recently pushed me to do things I wouldn’t choose to do naturally.
My son’s in the middle of a health scare. One minute he was about to be admitted to hospital that day, the next I’m told he’s not. 9 days afterwards, I was still waiting to hear when he would be seen. Switchboard hadn’t heard of the place I’d been told to phone. I kept being put through to telephones that rang out. I’m a good girl and I’ve worked in our health service. I know people don’t like being questioned. But I had to push. I couldn’t just leave it, because people didn’t like it. This is my son, and systems do go wrong sometimes.
In the end, an appointment came through the door. A few seconds later, a secretary I’d called by accident, rang back. She told me to tell her all about it and gave me loads of useful information. (Kindness makes such a difference.)
The second thing pushing me into uncharted territory is editing. Our authors have been writing novel a lot longer than I’ve been thoroughly assessing other people’s structure and prose. Swapping critiques is different. You’re not responsible for the end product.
But Cadence want to be known for excellence. That means repeat in-house edits as well as using freelance editors.
I’ve made mistakes, read things wrongly, but a lot of the time, the authors have agreed with me. Books that were already good are getting better as we bat suggestions and changes back and forth. I’m no longer concerned I’ll crush anybody or ruin their work with my “suggestions”. Our authors have been gracious, patient, and tolerant.
Next time, I might be a lot more blasé.