Friend: “Erna, if I didn’t know you from before, I wouldn’t like you now.”
I can be mean. Really, really mean. Like when I chewed out this one aspiring writer who had the nerve to send me a message on LinkedIn asking for advice, and I told her that if she used such awful text speak in a message to a total stranger, she’d never go far in the writing world.
Part of me thinks: “I’m doing her a favour. People aren’t going to be so nice and she needs that dressing down. She needs that brutal honestly.”
The other part of me thinks: “You didn’t have to be so cutting about it. You didn’t have to sound so nasty.”
But I’ve been lucky in my career. I’ve had people put it to me nicely and diplomatically when my stuff doesn’t pass muster.
“It’s kind of obvious no one really edited your piece.”
“I don’t think you’re suited to the position we’re offering.”
Or the slightly rude yet inadvertently kind non-replies to my writing/job queries.
I realise I’m a whole lot harder on myself than anyone has ever been with me. I’m a whole lot more brutal on myself as well as other people than I’ve actually experienced in my writing/editing career. Less forgiving. More nitpicky. (But if you can’t differentiate it’s and its…WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU %#^#&@ j/k)
I think I could stand to be a lot more kinder. I don’t think I’ll always succeed but I resolve to, at the very least, try.
So here’s me telling the Universe that I am trying to be kinder. If I still snap at you ever so often, please understand I’m still working on it. Really.