Tuesday, December 02, 2008


My bff is applying to business school. She's got some essays. She wants some advice. Enter in Pandora's Box.

This just happened with an article I wrote. I showed it to someone after it had been factchecked, changed by my editor to fit the magazine's style (while retaining the most choice lines). I asked someone to check it out, thinking that they would want to hire me for something else.

Wrong. They didn't like the style of the article. But that was the whole point of the article (seriously, I'm the first one to admit when I write crapola--it happens more than I'd like to think).

So, back to the business school essay. Or the person who doesn't have the balls to quit their job, break up with the boy, move to the new city. Do they want to bitch or do they want advice?

Or do they just want you to tell them they're right? Judging from my own experience, I say they want you to tell them they're right. Brilliant. That they can't change a word or a single situation without a whole deck of cards falling. Sad perhaps, but very true.

Now off to tell an essay is brilliant! Because at this point, it's going to be handed in tomorrow. At this point, being the a-hole who has suggestions on changing the entire theme is going to make me the bad guy, not the hero. Because at this point, my friend is a beautiful person, and if her essay doesn't reflect that, hell if I'll be the one to tell her...

Call me a coward all you like...but don't tell me you wouldn't do the same, late in the game? Once the article has been published, once the package is in the mail, once the talk has been had and the email has been sent, what the hell else are you supposed to do? I'll tell you. You say this, "I've done this. I'm sharing it with you because I'm insecure. The only thing, and I repeat, the ONLY thing I want from you is to tell me it's amazing. Cool?"

The world might be a better place if we did these things, don't you think?


CB said...

You can still give her meaningful revisions without telling her to sink the entire essay. You are a writer! She sent the essay to you because she trusts you and knows word manipulation is your industry. If it's not too late, share your thoughts, 24 hours is totally enough time for a turn-around.

Curiously enough, I was in this exact same situation last night - my little brother is applying to college. He came to me with an essay that was due the next day, I suggested a few things, he changed the opening and the conclusion - twice as good!

K said...

that sounds good. Damnit I am a WRITER! I can fix anything!

right? right?

Well, at least I have to try...

Good advice CB. I'm taking it.

jon said...

Rip it to shreds. If she's gonna succeed in the business world, she's gotta be TOUGH!

just me said...

I completely agree.

We're all insecure.

K said...

Well, that went well. NOT. Just kidding, I did what I could--my friend is my friend and I can't turn it into me writing it (as if that would get my friend anywhere!!!). But I stayed true to what I thought. And what you all thought. I think the essay is better for it.