Thursday, February 03, 2005

Starting Over -- Again

Recently I made some new business cards. I needed them because we moved last August to Arizona and I needed some cards with simply my editor/ writer information.  Microsoft Publisher has a business card template which is simple — even for someone like me who has little graphic design skills.  I entered the different fields of information, then tried different templates. Quickly the card changed and I selected one with a creative twist.

Driving to a nearby store, I turned in my card and a few days later I picked up my new business card. To me, it looked great and I’d even handed out a few of them.  The other day I glanced down at the card and noticed they were printed with the wrong zip code. Immediately I turned to see if the store introduced the error. I’d love to blame someone else for this mistake but I couldn’t. I put in the wrong zip code and they printed what I submitted. Suddenly instead of having a new business card or an asset for my writing life, I had a box of 500 mistakes and felt terrible.

With chagrin, I admitted the error to my wife and she instantly responded, “When you showed me the cards, I didn’t say anything. But I didn’t like the design of that card.” Besides making the typographical error, I had missed a critical step in the production process—checking with someone else and getting some feedback.  While not a writer, my wife has terrific taste and keen insight. For this particular job, I didn’t tap into her expertise but I put it together, selected a design and made it happen. 

Suddenly I found a good reason for starting over—again. Besides getting a correct card, I would have an improved image. I began to be thankful only a few people saw the flawed card and design. This time I gathered her input about the overall look. My new business card has clean lines and a clear message. I double checked and triple checked the information to make sure it’s right. In a few days, I will have a new box of cards.

In my writing and editing life, I’m constantly starting over.  I have a new relationship with an editor or a new magazine. I turn in one magazine article and begin another one. I finish a book manuscript and begin a new project. I’m grateful that even with an occasional mistake, I learn new insight.

As I think about starting over again, the weeping prophet of Israel, Jeremiah, came to mind. The short book of Lamentations contains a promise filled with hope, “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is thy faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22–23, RSV). It’s something to cling to and begin again.

5 Comment:

At 8:42 AM, Blogger Paula Left a note...

Thank you for this wonderful post! I discovered an error on my business cards as well and just felt sick--and I HAD sought advice. :o)

My trouble is sometimes discerning which advice to take on my work and which advice to let go. Sometimes even professional people have differing opinions. I prayerfully seek to be teachable . . . but the journey can get long. LOL

At 10:28 AM, Blogger Macromoments Left a note...

Terry, thanks for offering both a practical reminder and a spiritual application. Loved the tie-in to the passage in Lamentations. SO true--every day offers a chance to begin again, no matter where we are in our life or career. ~Bonnie~

At 3:06 PM, Blogger michael snyder Left a note...

Terry, I'm glad I found the cyber-you. What a fun and informative site.

I've been blessed with a wife who also happens to be a great "first reader". When I fail to get her input, I fail. Thanks for the reminder.

At 4:32 PM, Blogger Becky Left a note...

Wonderful thoughts, Terry. I appreciate the godly admonition and the focus on His promise.

At 10:06 AM, Blogger Vicki Left a note...

Thank you, Terry. I really needed that Lamentations scripture this morning to remind me that the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases....His mercies are new every morning....and great is His faithfulness! Thank you for blessing me.


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