Posted by Lynne
Deciding what is and what isn,t negotiable along with making expectations clear is the very heart of parenting. The child who doesn't learn to respect that which is not negotiable will have great difficulty behaving; first, perhaps just at home, later in the neighborhood and in the community. I can give you this guarantee: The more you shy away from creatiing clear boundaries, the more discipline issues you will face.
Typos. Errors. Mistakes. Above is an excerpt from the page proofs of my book, Negotiation Generation. I've spent the last several days reading my book word for word, comma to comma. And guess what? There are still inconsistencies in the appearance of words like non-negotiable (we settled on nonnegotiable) and skill building (we settled on skill-building). There are still sentences that stop me cold to ask, "Huh?" And this is after countless people have read it, including me. I won't even wager a guess as to how many times I've read this baby of mine.
Over coffee yesterday, I told my husband my fear. No matter how many times I go through it, I might miss a typo. The first email I get from a reader will say, "Nice book, did you know there's a mistake on page 78?"
My wise and supportive husband told me to think of my book as if it were a Persian rug. Made by hand, each rug is perfectly imperfect, precisely imprecise. Even if a rug is made and it appears perfect, the weaver takes his or her time to create a slight inconsistency or irregularity within it. These artists, in deference to God, believe only He can create something perfect. They have no desire to compete with Him, as they share the gifts He's given them.
Whether I'm writing non-fiction parenting books or working on my novel, I strive to write well. I believe in the mantra, submit only your best work to agents and editors. In writing, as is the case with all art, there is no place for perfection. It doesn't exist. It is in the imperfections of a painting or the dissonance of a song where humanity is found. And I believe strongly that when it comes to child rearing, there is no perfect child, no perfect parent.
So when you pick up a copy of my book, should you choose to scour the text, I'm certain you will find a mistake or two. You'll be left to wonder, did I place them there intentionally or is that where you found my humanity.
Thursday, May 17, 2007
Posted by Lynne