Last week I made contact with a delightful lady who was the very first person to read a completed work of mine, namely the almost-but-not-quite final draft of Signs of (a) Life. It's still for sale, by the way (that's a hint). Her feedback was the main reason for me going on to publish my efforts, and for my continued grunting and straining over a keyboard. This made it all the more difficult to send her a copy of the latest finished piece, but despite my resistance to the idea, she convinced me to do so. I did, too.
It's like a slow torture.
Waiting for feedback on a piece of work is always nerve-jangling, but waiting for feedback on something that I don't feel very happy about is somehow worse. Every hour without word has me more and more convinced that the other person is struggling to find a way to let me down gently; trying to find words that will not instantly reduce me to artistic tears and the hurling of breakable items, but instead only result in a slow decline into booze and quiet sobbing. While this approach to crucifying my work endears me to hem (despite it only being in my imagination), it also makes me wish for a quicker, cleaner coup de grace.
Not getting back to me quickly and dragging it out (as they all are) is like waiting to have a root canal done: I know it's going to be uncomfortable, but can we just get it over with, please?
Also lurking somewhere towards the back of my mind (but not far enough to be unnoticed) is the knowledge that there's a good chance that I'm going to feel compelled to fix whatever feedback comes my way. It's not that I don't think that the story shouldn't be told, you see; it's fixing the telling that will be a...well to be blunt, a royal pain in the rear end. I may even have to start all over again.