I live in a small suburb of Des Moines. Today, I needed to drive in to the city to run some errands and had to drive on Fleur Drive.
Those of us who live in the Des Moines metro area know all about Fleur Drive, but others who don’t live here might as well. If you have ever flown in or out of the Des Moines International Airport, then you have been on Fleur Drive. It is one of the most heavily trafficked streets in the city, with many, MANY potholes, some of them what the other half and I like to dub car-eaters. Driving the posted speed limit often becomes jarring, since avoiding them is futile at best. The street is almost always having construction done as a result. The couple of miles I drove on today were no different, as a portion of it was down to one lane in each direction, the other lane being reconstructed.
There is a running joke about having to drive the street with all the construction. The constant re-pavements and such are so bad that the Midwest printing and apparel company, Raygun, made a shirt with this slogan:
“Be like Fleur Drive: Never stop working on yourself, no matter how inconvenient it is for everyone else”
It came to mind as I was driving how true that statement is, especially today. One of my beta readers today gave me one of my first negative, but constructive, critical reviews of one of the short stories I sent her. She of course was correct in her criticism, for it was something I felt to be true about this particular plot as well. As I was driving, with my music blaring, I reflected upon how in the past, I would have been a wreck to hear such criticism. I’d have hated hearing anything negative about my work.
It surprised me that I accepted today’s review with such acceptance, since I’m often catering to others so I DON’T have to have them be critical. I am working on changing that, but I am also working on accepting and even embracing criticism, for I know not everyone will be happy with what I say or do. Today was a huge step for me.
In the case of the story, it was truth I needed to hear. I am working on changing the portions of the plot that have problems, having deleted and reworded some already. What I write today may be changed tomorrow, but I’m always working on it, just like I am working on myself. What I am today will not be what I am tomorrow, nor is it what I was yesterday.
So, dear readers, remember – Always keep working on yourself, even if it’s inconvenient for everyone else.
Little plug here: If you want to be a beta reader for me for any of my works, let me know. And write those reviews! I appreciate them.
Always work on yourself, even if others are inconvenienced by it.
Write your own story.
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