the elation of validation

beach girl3I recently sent an email to my local newspaper editor. In it, I apologized for a few small errors that I’d made in some articles I’d written for him. The articles were about local businesses that will be showcased at a local Home and Garden Show this weekend. They went to print this past Monday, and a few of the business owners were not happy with what I had written.

As I mentioned in a previous post, although I knew I’d done a good job (the editor published my articles almost exactly as I had written them), I was devastated by the negative feedback. I knew I needed to develop thicker skin, but my mistakes, especially the preventable ones, really bothered me.

Tonight, the editor wrote back. This is what he said:

Shake it off. The Fire Safe items were totally bureaucratic and not worth changing. Don’t know what the painter guy was upset about. It was free publicity.

. . .

I feel so much better now!

Note: I apologize if I was unclear in my previous post! The editor was never upset with me; rather, it was the painter who was “disgusted” by what I had written.

Image: Google

42 thoughts

  1. Good news to hear! It is hard to see one’s happiness from behind, but you cannot misconstrue their sense of happiness for the contrary if they so speak plainly in their story. Smile, Jess, a wide one. Smile fom the heart, for that is the most genuine of smile. :-)

  2. You know what they say about newspapers lining tomorrow’s bird cages :-)

    It sucks when you make a mistake and don’t catch it when writing for hire. Perhaps that is why I don’t have motivation to get paid for writing and enjoy the open freedom of blogging.

    Back in the days of Zip Jazz drives and slow computers, the spell checker changed “Public Relations” to “Pubic Relations” and $10,000 and a stern talk with my boss later, I was humiliated, frustrated, and downtrodden.

    Glad your editor shared his perspective with you.


    • That’s terrible, Pete! I hear people complain about the auto correct on their iPhones all the time for the same reason. (I don’t have an iPhone yet…)

      I’m sorry to hear about what you went through, and I too definitely prefer the freedom of open blogging. The feedback here is enough to keep me going, even if it doesn’t exactly put food on the table! Lol.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  3. His response could not have been better. “Shake it off,” yeah.

    Have you read “The Writer’s Art” by Kilpatrick? He talks, in this book, about how easy it can be to make that one guy mad with some little something. And he stresses that a writer has too much on his mind to allow himself to sweat the hurt feelings of the one reader.

    • Hey Nate. Yeah, a lot of people had been telling me that, and I essentially had, but hearing it from the editor himself made me feel even better.

      I *haven’t* read that book. I’ll have to look it up. I know he’s right. As with anything in life, you can never make everybody happy.

  4. “Disgusted” is a pretty strong word. Probably a word used by someone who is used to getting their passive-aggresive way and not related to reality. Newspapers are under a lot of pressure, sounds like you have a good editor.

    • The editor is very short-winded, lol. Usually I get one-word responses to questions. But overall, yes, he’s a really nice guy. Yeah… I don’t know. That painter was far from happy with me, that’s for sure. At least it’s in the past now.

  5. Yes! Validation for you not to stress about those mistakes. No big deal after all. There are bigger problems in the world than those businesses stressing about those things. Glad it worked out -AB

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