Friday, August 12, 2011

What Bad Hair Teaches You

by Cheri Chesley
(this is not a recent picture--her hair is much longer now)
Last weekend, I spent over $30 on hair repair items for my daughter. She spent an extra couple of weeks in OK with her Papa, and swam almost every day--and ran out of conditioner and didn't tell him she needed more. So she spent most of that time without conditioning her hair.

It came back the texture of straw. Seriously.

Because she's been working so hard to grow her hair out, I opted for helping her fix her hair rather than going and getting it cut short. Although, you have to admit, she looks pretty darn good in an A-line. See?

As I spend day after day obsessing over when to give her the next conditioning treatment, having her wash and condition her hair with products I don't usually buy for myself, I'm reminded of the editing process. I know--I'm such a WRITER! lol

See, many of us--and I'm one of them--want to go through our manuscript 2 or 3 times before pronouncing it perfect! Done! As good as we can make it! But, like these conditioning treatments my daughter and I are doing, it can take a dozen or more work-throughs before we're really done with a project.

I'm slowly learning this. I submitted my sequel to Cedar Fort, happy that it was as good as I can make it, until I heard back from them with suggestions that I make some changes and resubmit before they'll consider offering me a contract. See, they knew it wasn't up to par. And, looking back, I know it too--now. :) After letting the project sit for a month, I realized many holes I'd missed and lots of ways to make the story deeper, more compelling and overall more interesting. I'd gotten the bare bones of the story down, but I needed to embellish.

That has to wait until the summer is over. And, now, after we move.

I want to be a better writer than I am. This will take patience. Like my daughter's hair will also take patience, time and effort to get it back to a semblance of normal. I'm still learning; I'll probably always be learning. But that isn't really a bad thing.


  1. Great analogy. It does take a lot of patience. In fact, I blogged about that today, too. =)

  2. Sorry to leave an unrelated comment, but I couldn’t find any contact info for you. I’m wondering if you’d be interested in a guest post. Please drop me an e-mail at Thanks!

  3. Ok, here's my free, professional, yet unsolicited advice. I'm guessing you bought some reconstructing conditioner from a salon? Then what you will want to do is wash it, then towel dry it really well. Put the reconstructor on the hair, gather the hair onto the top of her head and put a plastic grocery bag over her hair securing it in the front with a hair clippy. Let her sit outside in the sun or warm the bag with a blow dryer on the outside of the bag. Once the hair is warmed up, let it sit for about 20-30 mins. Rinse. Only do this once a week for two weeks, then change to once a month until all the dead ends are cut off. that should help it a lot.
    Now to turn this into a comment about writing. There are many writers out there that have tricks on ways to help us with certain problems. Searching for different solutions and then settling on the one that works for us is something we shouldn't be afraid to do. When it comes to editing, the concept of lather, rinse, repeat is a good analogy!

  4. Thanks for the advice, Nikki. Angie, great minds think alike :)



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