My manuscript was returned from the copyeditor. Good news! The hard work Linda Joy Myers and I did paid off. The vast majority of fixes were around tense. Apparently, I had a hard time navigating past and past perfect. Thank god there are people who enjoy knowing that sort of stuff! Otherwise, no major changes were needed regarding structure, content, through threads, or anything else. Phew!
Next step: My ms is now in a proofreader’s queue. According to the internet, here is the definition of proofread:
“Proofreading is the reading of a galley proof or an electronic copy of a publication to find and correct production errors of text or art. Proofreading is the final step in the editorial cycle before publication.”
Anything regarding my ms and the word “final” is pretty damn exciting!
Next step: At some point soon, I’ll get the manuscript back with the proofreader’s comments and suggested corrections. Once that’s complete it’s off to the layout phase. I’ll keep you posted.
What I’m reading, how it helps
An intense read. . .
The review that launched a frenzy: I read the NYT review of Gina’s book prior to reading the book itself. The review made the rounds on social media due to its critical nature of the published work. If you’re interested, you can read the review HERE.
What I appreciate most about this book is how it has intensified the conversation around women writers and what we are “allowed” or “supposed” to write, and how we’re perceived when we dare to break down those boundaries.
And break down boundaries Gina did. To me, loving this book or hating it isn’t the point. As women, we can’t understand the roles society has conscripted us to play, and how to break free of them, if we don’t even know what they are. I’ll be thinking about this book’s messages regarding women, our bodies, sex, patriarchy, and more for a long time to come.
What’s been on my mind
Last week I listened to Glennon Doyle’s podcast episode called, “OUR BODIES: Why are we at war with them and can we ever make peace?” (I seem to have a body/patriarchy theme going on these days.) You can find this episode of We Can Do Hard Things HERE. There was SO much important conversation about how girls and women, from the beginning, are taught our culture’s very narrow definition of “beauty,” and the importance of staying small, both literally and figuratively. Glennon asked an important question that every one of us should consider.
She also talked about the ways parents by accident and on purpose give their kids messages about the need to fit in. This part of the dialogue hit me right in the gut. As a mom who, because of my weight, got bullied and teased as kid, of course I wanted to save my daughter from that same type of pain. I never outright said the words “you need to fit in,” but she got the message loud and clear, especially at doctor visits, year after year, when the conversation inevitably made its way to her weight.
As a young mom, Glennon said, she told her children’s pediatrician that they didn’t have permission to discuss the three kids’ weight, at all.
What? I thought, listening. You can do that?
It never once occurred to me that I could tell my daughter’s doctor what was or wasn’t okay to discuss about her with her. I assumed we were on the same team, the team that wanted a happy and healthy person, which, of course, was true. To a certain extent. My daughter’s doctor was a woman, and holistically oriented, who also was trained by and inside of our society and its fucked up standards.
It’s not easy to redefine our body’s relationship to the world, or our thinking about it. Mindful meditation helps me do this by focusing on this exact action.
If these topics–weight, body image, body positivity, body image resilience–are important to you, I hope you follow @beauty_redefined on Instagram. Or go their website, More Than a Body, and sign up to get the newsletter.
Identical twins Lexie & Lindsay Kite, both with PhDs, are at the front of the conversation.
“Their work centers on the truth that positive body image isn’t believing your body looks good, it’s knowing your body is good, regardless of how it looks.”
What my daughter heard every time we talked about her weight and “getting it under control” was, “there’s something wrong with you. You’re not okay the way you are.”
My daughter learned not to trust herself or her body. The exact same lesson I learned at 11 years old when my female pediatrician and my mom put me on my first diet. Both of us–my daughter and I–to varying degrees have been trying to control our bodies ever since.
The antidote to control is love, and since we started our healing journey in earnest, back in 2013, I’ve been learning how to love my body. Period. Without caveats or addendums. I’m trying to model that love for my daughter.
I know love is a strong word. I didn’t start with love, but I’ve been working my way there one step at a time. But how? How have I been doing that?
Through self-care. Self-care from the inside out. Self-care through art journaling, meditation, connection, writing, and reading, to name a few. Actions that help me change my relationship with myself, that help me peel back layer after layer and year after year of conditioning. The changes that stick are the ones that work their way out from the inside, from authentic, healthy intentions, not ones trying to work their way in from the outside.
This week, online, I saw the phrase “the ethical imperative of self-care.” Specifically, the article was related to therapists and why self-care needs to be an imperative. Makes sense that anyone who helps other people for a living would need to make self-care a priority. But I say, we all need to embrace the ethical imperative of self-care. I wonder what would happen if we brought the healthiest versions of ourselves into the world on a daily basis. Puts me in mind of the Ghandi quote, “Be the change you want to see in the world.”
That’s my two cents. What’s yours? Have you noticed how much time and energy you expend focused on your relationship with your body, food, and looks? Do you have any self-care practices that focus your intentions from the inside out? Did you learn young how to trust your body and thereby yourself, or not? I’d love to know.