Okay, okay, I hold my hands up - I'm NOT finished with the editing. After all of the crap I was sprouting in the last couple of blogs, I had another read through and decided I needed to ADD some things rather than take away. Annoying, especially as I'd already sent it off to my dream agent :-S Ah well, what can ya do?
I've been a recluse for a while now while getting the book finished and over the past year I've become more locked into my own little world. It's only now I'm close to finishing that I'm waking from the self-imposed hibernation and have started looking carefully at the people around me. The one's I'd judged and dismissed without actually knowing them. I've made some interesting and enlightening observations...
Turns out that one person who pisses me off more than any other (who shall remain nameless) isn't actually that bad after all. Also, someone who I thought was just quite rude, may actually have some underlying issues causing the rudeness. Another person I thought was nice (well, sort of) turns out is actually an arsehole after all! Whadyaknow eh?! I feel stupid and guilty at the same time for committing the ultimate cardinal sin of a writer - judging a book by it's cover.
A story I'd like to share with you (non-fiction as well!) was the time I worked at a chintzy shop in Manchester as a student. One Saturday afternoon, a handicapped man wandered in. We had a really strict policy on approaching every customer and my colleagues pretended not to see him and awkwardly skirted around trying not to engage in conversation as he clearly made them uncomfortable. I distinctly remember leaning on the counter and rolling my eyes at them.
What was the big deal? He was bloody shopping like everyone else.
I bowled on over in my usual bull-in-a-China-shop manner and asked if he needed any help and lo and behold he did. I helped him pick out a necklace for his Mum and we both giggled when I struggled with the lock on the jewellery cabinet. I was in the middle of animatedly telling him about my annoying habit of losing bracelets (seriously, I'll put one on in the morning and by lunchtime it'll have vanished) when he reached out and took my arm.
Out of the blue, he looked me in the eye and said, "It's nice to talk to you. People talk to me like I'm a baby because of the way I am, but up here," He pointed at his head, "I'm fine."
I remember feeling like I'd been hit with a sledgehammer and despite being a bit of an ice-queen (I know, you wouldn't think it from some of my hysterical book related blogs) I went home that night and sobbed my heart out.
Why do we do it? Why do we judge people? I have to constantly remind myself of that man whenever I'm launching into a scathing verbal attack on someone I really don't know. I've learned I need to sit back and watch and listen to people before I make up my mind about them.
After all, who am I? A single twenty-something who stays in at the weekend to write and (by her own doing) doesn't really have a circle of friends to speak of.
What a saddo! Someone buy the spinster a cat! ;-)