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  • Writer's pictureEdie Montreux

Edie's Top Ten: What I Learned This Week

Wow. It's been a week. Here are some things I learned.

10. Time may be a construct, but damn, where did it go? It's been twenty-five years since my ex tried to kill me in the early morning of February 24, 1996. I've been given a second chance at life. I still question every moment - have I squandered it, or have I made the goddess proud?

9. W. E. B. Dubois is not pronounced the way I read it in my head (it's boys, not bwah). I learned this after I said it wrong to a diverse group. (They didn't correct me - as soon as I said it, I wondered, "Is that right?" and Googled afterward.) I will do better next time.

8. Being an empath has failed me hard in this virtual world. I'm no longer as tuned in to others' emotions as I once was. Now, I'm stuck with my own emotions, which sucks.

7. ProWritingAid wants to correct "empath" with "emoji." Um...what?

6. I put way too much faith in others' opinions of my work. I rushed a manuscript to meet a deadline, and they published it even though it's missing the second half of the second act. It should have developed the antagonist and ended with the second plot point. Instead, it jumps straight from midpoint to climax. Past me was bad at plotting.

5. Past me also didn't have time for proper beta-testing and review. Having my own schedule means I can take the time to do it right.

4. Character arcs, plot outlines, and thematic overhauls take a lot of time and are harder than anything I've ever had to do, but it's worth it.

3. February has another reason to be the cruelest month. It's when my day job holds year-end reviews.

2. Asking for feedback is only valuable if people are willing to give it. In my writing life, people are so open to developing me and helping me grow. In my work life, I've asked multiple times, multiple ways, multiple people with zero results. Sometimes, it's general: "I want honest feedback," "I'm willing to learn and grow," "Please help me become a better person." I've also asked directly, "How did this presentation go? How can I make it better? Where could I improve next time?" Crickets.

1. Coming out is so weird when you're gray/ace. Honestly, I shouldn't have needed to do it, but also, I'm being asked to work on "relationships." Is someone uncomfortable because [insert reason here], or because I make them feel like I wouldn't want them if they were the last human on earth? In my experience, it's both.

It's also my dude's birthday: Happy Birthday, Lemur! I love you. Thanks for putting up with me for just under twenty-five years. Only Em and Ro have known me longer, and no one knows me better (though Ro would fight me on that).

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