I’m reposting this gem from the archives because well, I need to follow my own advice…again!
We all have one. An (internal) editor. It’s that little (or big) voice that either speaks life into your story…or sadly, more commonly, speaks half-truths or untruths. By the way, you don’t have to be a writer to have an editor. No ma’am. You just have to be a story teller. And we are all story-tellers in some way. Whether you’re a writer, speaker, teacher, neighbor, daughter, mama, counter clerk, or housekeeper. You have a story to tell.
Your editor’s job is to help you tell your story to the best of your ability. The problem comes when our editors turn out to be more insistent than assistant. You know the kind. Pushy, bossy, untruthful. Even mean.
When your editor speaks life, you may find yourself reaching across a table and slipping your hand into that of a friend’s. When she asks if you “get it”, your editor gives you the go-ahead to share your story without hesitation. Even if it means the ugly cry, with black mascara running down your cheeks. You’ll also recognize your internal editor is your friend if she encourages you to include the details of the journey you’ve taken. Even when the journey turned treacherous, and real.live.people were hurt in the making of your story.
On the other hand, your editor is falling off the job if she demands you be quiet more often than she nudges you to speak up. Convinces you to put your story on the back burner. Insists your story doesn’t matter. Tells you to wait on the back story because there’s a better story coming. Sound familiar?
Well today, I decided I’ve had enough. I’m fed up. So I’m firing my editor. And I want to encourage you to review your own internal editor’s voice. Can you hear her? Sometimes she’s so loud, even I can hear her! She’s telling you that you don’t measure up. Your story isn’t big enough. Or that it’s too big. Too overwhelming. Too much. She’s telling you to fix your story first, then tell it. And did you catch it when she insisted you rehearse your story until it sounds good? Really good? Make adjustments, capitalize on the good parts, erase the mistakes.
Yeah. If your internal editor sounds like that please, follow my lead and fire her. Feel free to use the pink slip below.
In your previous performance review, you were warned that your job as editor was at serious risk. You were put on notice and have not complied with the original terms of your job description, as outlined here:
*Encourage story teller, by using constructive language. Phrases such as, “This is too hard, you might as well give up while you’re ahead,” and “No one wants to hear that,” or “What will people think if you write that?” should never be used.
*Never edit out the“real” story. It’s the diamond in the middle of rough.
*Invite your story teller to linger, to share the details; even if the story takes a hard turn. Remind her vulnerability comes with the job, and the rewards will be worth it when others relate to her particular story.
*Always let your story teller take the lead in her own story. She knows it well. Help her to tell it the best possible way.
*Your kindness and patience is not only appreciated by the story teller, but being curt and demanding is never tolerated.
*Remind the story teller to persevere. Her story is unique and needs to be told.
Because you have chosen to repeatedly ignore the above terms, you are hereby notified that your services are no longer required. Your position as Internal Editor has been terminated.
Helpful, Joyful, Kind Internal Editor Wanted