Fortunately for me, I had reason to head into town on the next business day, and stopped in my advisor’s office that afternoon, as he was just finishing up a reply e-mail to me with his comments on the chapter. I sat and talked with him for a good hour, as he filled me in on the important points I’d not yet addressed, and why he felt that they were important. I explained that when I’d sent it to him I did feel like, perhaps, it wasn’t perfect yet, but I knew that I needed to say *something*, because it is far, far easier to edit/change text, than to write the first paragraphs on a given topic. I left that meeting feeling inspired and ready to go. As a result, when I saw his e-mail and read the comments in the chapter itself, I was ready and able to immediately work on doing the expansions he thought it needed. However, looking at the e-mail itself, I think that if I had read it before having the conversation with him, I would likely have been devastated. There is something about the thought that one’s effort isn’t deemed worthy, for whatever reason, which can either be crippling or inspiring. How easy it is to let a negative opinion on one’s work ruin one’s day, but how much better it feels when, instead, one hears the constructive, helpful suggestions one has been offered and is able to run with them, putting the suggestions to work to improve one’s efforts. This time the latter was easier to do because of the conversation. I hope that in the future, should it happen that I receive such suggestions from a mentor or colleague without such a warning conversation, I shall be able to appreciate their help and act upon their advice straight away, without any “someone doesn’t like my work” feelings standing in the way.
Gratuitous Cat Picture.
2 days ago