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  • Writer's pictureBeth Burke

Tough Week

This past week has been a tough one in writing and it was really hard to write anything. I have made my goals each day but only just. I haven't given up and I am still moving forward with several stories. I lost my co-author for the Blackwell series this week and I am hoping that I didn't lose Millie as a friend too.

She wanted one of her friends to edit the Blackwell book. This person started and got through a page and half and stopped. She said she wanted to meet with us. So on Monday we had a voice chat with her. I have never been talked to in such a rude and unprofessional way in my life. She kept asking me if I would talk to someone professionally like that. For the sake of my friend I kept my mouth shut and didn't say what I wanted to say. I thought maybe I was being too harsh and maybe this was how Editor were. As the chat went on she said that our writing sounded like a teenager wrote it. Having worked with teenagers, I have no idea what teenagers she is talking about. The fact that she was critical didn't bother me, the fact that she continued to repeat herself by saying this over and over as if she was the only way to fix this problem. She made it sound as if this was a huge favor she was doing for us and that without her our book would be a huge failure.

She said that she would not put up with any arguments about her edits and found this very odd. I had commented on an edit that said a paragraph was too repetitive and I explained why we had done it but that it could be changed. She said this was arguing and she would not put up with it. When I read the comment and asked her what about it had rubbed her the wrong way she refused to answer and just said that it was not the point and if we were going to argue with her she would not waste her time. When I tried to explain that it was not arguing but explaining the reasoning behind it being written that way. She again said she wouldn't waste her time. When It tried to lighten the mood with a funny story about Mille and I writing it, she cut me off and said that people get busy and life happens, without hearing what I was actually trying to say.

What hurt even more was the fact that Millie said nothing while she was putting down the parts that she had written or when was being insulting to me. She just sat silently and allowed it. When I stood up for her writing I was shut down again because of the "she will not put up with being argued with". I tried again to say it was explaining not arguing she shut me down again and again Millie said nothing. When this woman insulted my day job and my character I was shocked and hurt and again Millie said nothing. I stopped talking at all at that point. I told Millie the choice was up to her because she was apparently the only one allowed to speak and have an opinion or maybe it was because she just agreed with the person.

I tried to just let it go, because having this person was important to Millie. As the days went on the meeting still bothered me so finally I had to say something and also the fact that it had been another three days and the person had not touched the document. So I worded what I thought was a calm, rational and professional way of voicing my concerns and basically saying that she needed to treat us professionally and politely. She responded that she rescinded her offer since I was unable to take the objective criticism she offered. After that I was not worried about hurting anyone's feeling and replied that I was very disappointed that was unable to act in a professional manner even as a favor for a friend and that I would let any other author's know that if they asked about editors.

What hurt the most about the whole situation was after I sent that reply and left the group chat. Millie messaged me that it was uncalled for to ruin her reputation. She defended the person that had be mean, rude, condescending and overall unprofessional and quit because she called out on her bad behavior, but she didn't say anything when this person was attacking me or her. I couldn't even comprehend the reason for her actions and I felt so betrayed . If she had stood up for both I could have understood, but she didn't. I still don't know how to deal with this feeling and how I move forward from here. I replied to her that I would not allow anyone else to be treated that way. I am not going out of my way to destroy her, I mean I haven't even named her in this post.

After not hearing from Millie for a days after this development and after telling her I needed to hear from her as we were planning on releasing the book at the end of the month and there are things that need to be discussed between now and then. I warned her the last time that we got to a point where she shut down on me that if it happened again I would move on with the project by myself. So I had to make the hard choice to take her off of the document for the second book. It hurt my heart to have to do it. I loved working with her and talking about the different stories and the different possibilities. However I can't keep this cycle going. If I allow it to continue our friendship will end, if it hasn't already. Her friendship is more important to me that working on something together. All I can do now is hope she understands once she listens to me or notices. I just didn't know what else to do. As hurt as I feel she is lucky I kept her on the document for the current book.

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