Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Editor: a metaphor
I'm watching an author working on a new book, and I'm realizing it feels a bit like helping a child learn to ride a bike. It's that same feeling of WANTING to be able to help, to be able to somehow give precise instructions about exactly how to conquer something that seems so daunting at the outset, but realizing that mostly all you can do is run along on the sidelines, keeping pace and cheering loudly. Cheering even more loudly in spite of false starts and pitfalls and skinned knees. Cheering through the spots where it seems like it would be much easier just to say, "But I can't!!" and give up. And then, watching the wheels begin to turn, sloooowly, and the wobbles begin and knowing, even if the author doesn't at this very moment, that the wobbling is, actually, a very very early stage of mastery.