The piece went before the Naked Lady Bar review committee and the Dane and I gave it our edits. I knew then that it was good piece and publishable, even before we broke out the red pens. It’s even better now, though, in its finished and polished form. When I first clicked on the link to Contrary and saw the piece there in its published glory, I felt a weird twinge of pride (and envy, yes). Pride that I’d seen it before its debut. Pride that I’d played a tiny role in helping it get to this point.
Writers often compare publishing a story or novel with watching your kids go off to college. The feeling that this precious thing you’ve tended and agonized over is now grown. It’s out in the world. It’s out of your hands and out of your control.
Obviously, I don’t really feel that way about Oline’s piece or Croftie’s novel (which isn’t in college yet; right now, it’s working on scholarship applications to Brown or something). But editing a piece gives you a taste of it.
I’m not a parent sending his kid off to college. Not yet. I’m more like the neighborhood swimming coach seeing a former student, someone else’s kid, go out into the world. The kid’s not my kid, but I hope people like her, anyway.