“That’s not right,” she said, jabbing her finger at my screen.
“What?” I replied. “It can’t be wrong. I know it’s not. I asked the source directly.”
“No, no, the information is fine. How you wrote it is wrong.”
Naturally, the key for success is finding balance.
But if pessimism and optimism are both required, where’s the line? How would you handle that sort of schizophrenia?
Here’s my tactic.
I outsource my pessimism.
For this to work, two things need to happen:
1. I must wholeheartedly accept feedback from “pessimistic” people
The story at the beginning of this post was a conversation an editor had with me several years back.
She was right.
Artists are often tempted to say:
“You just don’t understand me!”
But the reality is, most people understand us all too well. When someone tells you your project isn’t ripe, accept it, do what needs to be done, and move on.
2. I must trust those people
Here is another piece of “pessimistic” feedback I received lately:
“This post gives off so many “life guru” vibes; quackery.”
I honestly do appreciate Peter from the Internet’s feedback. I know it’s a thought with pure intent which comes from his beliefs.
Will I allow his feedback to affect my work?
Would I accept that feedback if it came from one of my closest friends?
As a matter of fact, someone I trust once told me:
“Todd, what you are saying makes no sense. Do it this way.”
I did. My results tripled. Had I written him off as a grumpy pessimist, that never happens.
Kyle, thanks so much for remind us of the need for balance.