I’m weepy this morning, rattled, ill-at-ease.

Mandala Coloring Book

My Current Mandala Coloring Book

That’s the truth of this morning at my desk.

If I could, I would sit here at color mandalas all day long . . . the steady shape of the pencil in my hand, the way line on line fills up small spaces, the trips my mind can take while I give my attention to something small, bordered, easy.

Writing is a risk – a risk that requires creation out of little, a risk that invites people in, a risk that – when done well – opens up our hearts in ways few things besides deep love do.

On Friday, I received feedback on something I had written, feedback I didn’t particularly want to receive but was asked to take as part of a larger project, as if it isn’t already hard enough to take critique from people I trust.  But this was necessary, and I knew that.

The email that came with the edits – which were fine and clear and mostly minor  – began by saying that they hoped I would understand that all writing needs extra pairs of eyes and went on to note that they want this project to be the best it can be, that they had editors and historians read my text, and that I would need to revise and submit for their approval again.

I sobbed, and then I raged.

Then, I worked on the edits and sent them over to my actual supervisor for review. He will have to decide if they are critiqued again.  I am working, braced for another barrage of condescension and implications that I am neither a historian nor an editor . . .

I’m on edge, waiting.

I’ve been wounded a bit, but I have also learned – because I have had to learn – that the best way to heal is to pick up the words and lay them out again with courage, as if I will never again be wounded by sharing.

And to color, I’ve learned to color.

When has your work as a writer led you to be wounded? How did you keep going?