In the Foot

So, I screwed up with Patrick. I got so excited and enthusiastic about working with him that I kind of shot myself.

Delphine had lots of hospital appointments last week. After working on the book and not being able to see Patrick, I decided to write him a proposal. I wrote that instead of sending him my work, him reading it, preparing feedback, and us having to meet to discuss it, maybe we could leave out the meeting part.

Without the constraint of finding time to meet, I enthused, we could get more work done. It would be fairer for him. I’d been paying him for our hour together, but he obviously does a lot more than that. Arguably, the main thrust of his work is the feedback. So with my idea, I figured I’d be paying him for the important stuff.

He got back to me a few days later. It was that length of time which obsessives like me tend to monitor. He’s thinking about it, I thought. Rolling it over. Then I got his email. He said he was okay with this idea and that he’d charge me the same amount of money I was paying for our mentoring session. Now though, the money would be for each 1500 words he worked through.

Hmm, I thought. My revised Chapter One was just over 2000 words. This was the work he’d wanted me to re-edit it. The tweaking part, he called it.

I wrote back to him. This time, I wrote after a couple of days too. I can hear Lulu now, ‘God, Mum you are so petty!’ Of course she’s right. But I also needed time to think. I wrote what I’d been thinking: that some of the words I wanted to send him were the words he’d already read. Since so much editing at this level was moving things around in order to create tension. I asked him how that would work for pricing?

This time he wrote back more quickly. ‘In that case, you could send me newer stuff,’ he wrote, ‘for more specific feedback.’ Oh man. Bang went the gun. That wasn’t what we’d been discussing at all.

Patrick is thorough. He is meticulous. He is the perfect person I’d like to help me with this albatross round my neck, can’t die till it’s done, someone must’ve cursed me book. He spares no details and is on my wavelength in many glorious ways. He’s my friend. Sharp and funny and a pleasure to learn from and bounce off of.

So, my idea of saving time by cutting out our discussion hour and being more efficient with the added benefit of better value – didn’t exactly go to plan. Now I’ve got to find a solution without making him feel cheap. Without myself looking mean. Bad habit of mine. Those bullets tend to go straight into my foot.



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