I started taking tennis lessons with three friends last night. An uninvited guest joined us--my editor. Usually he sits on my shoulder only when I'm writing, but apparently he's branching out.
I haven't played tennis in a serious way for about 20 years, when I quit lessons because my little brother got to be better than me. So I was a little rusty, and the editor wouldn't let me forget it. "The instructor said to keep your elbow straight!" he yelled as I lobbed a ball into the net. "And keep your feet moving!"
I was so caught up in these negative comments that it barely registered when my friend Mary said, "You're doing great! Your backhand is amazing!"
I looked around. Who, me?
I played well the rest of the night, but more importantly I had fun and got Mr. Editor to shut the F up. Now if only Mary could come over to watch me write, every once in a while shouting, "Great job! Look at those sentences!"