Now that I work from home I have an additional job as chief inspector of my husband’s paintings. Several times a day Dean will pop his head around the door and say can you come and have a look …
I’ll sit in his chair and look at his painting. Once it gets to the very detailed end stages I can’t see the difference between one fine line and another, but I’m actually pretty good in the earlier stages at seeing what’s working and what isn’t, what enhances the overall structure and what detracts.
It’s not working
It’s not easy sitting there, speaking my truth about Dean’s painting. He’s so deeply invested in it, it’s hard for him to hear that something he has slaved over isn’t working.
Yesterday I spent a lot of time in Dean’s painting shed. He’s moving in a new direction, with a more abstract form. It’s like nothing he’s done before so there’s nothing to draw on from what has worked in previous paintings.
He’s had an immense struggle to bring the outer circle of the work into a harmonious form. Now he’s working on the centre. He has drawn in multiple shapes over the past three days, and wants to show me the latest version.
And so I sit in that chair and have to say it’s still not working … we sit with it, and talk through why it’s not right. We talk about the need for the centre to somehow reflect the outer circle. To be less complex if it is to harmonise. Suddenly Dean is drawing charcoal lines across the circle. At that point I leave.
Later that day
I come back later and I know straight away it’s going to work now. I can tell by the tone of Dean’s voice he knows it too, even though he can still see lots to be done, to be improved, and still doesn’t know exactly how it’s going to come together.
It’s not easy but it’s a privilege to be part of this creative process. Last night Dean said this is a painting that wouldn’t have happened without my input. I feel really proud to have this role, even though it’s intense and uncomfortable in those times when neither of us know how to move the work forward.
A job application
I also love the co-creation involved in helping people with their copywriting. Last week I helped someone with a covering letter for a job application. All the parts of their story were there, but I could see how to bring all the different ideas together to write a more coherent and persuasive letter.
It's easy for me to do this because I’m not attached to the words in the way my client is. I can see what needs to be emphasised and what should be discarded.
Words can make the difference
Again, it is a privilege to be involved in someone else’s work, and to potentially make a significant difference to their success. It’s a fresh reminder to me that words can do serious heavy lifting to support someone’s success, whether that is a job application or website content for a business.
If you need a second pair of eyes on your draft copy, whether it’s a job application or website text, I am happy to help you. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit my website at www.nzwritingservices.com.