Yesterday I was driving to pick up my son from school and there was a crowd to one side of the street. I slowed down and saw a young woman lying half in the road, her leg, arms, and belly all bloody with what looked like road rash.
From my vantage point it seemed like she'd taken a nasty spill off her bike. She looked like she was a teenager, around 16 or so. As I mentioned, there was a little crowd around her, several teenage boys, a couple of girls, and a woman. The woman was bent over her and I rolled my window down and talked to one of the boys I knew to ask what happened. The woman jerked her head up and said, "We got this."
She seemed really annoyed when I mentioned that maybe someone should call 911 and I was again told "we got this." I drove slowly away, but the look of pain on that girl's face stayed with me, so I took out my phone and called 911. I told the operator everything I'd seen and she said she'd send medical help.
At first I felt upset for the girl, then I thought the angry woman would be even more mad I'd called 911 when she said she had things in hand, and then I just hoped the girl got the help she needed no matter who provided it.
Not to take anyone's pain lightly, but sometimes I think we're like that with our manuscripts. They're obviously bleeding and in need of help, but we don't want help for whatever reason and tell everyone we've got it.
People may offer help to us, but we sometimes feel defensive and angry. I think we're always grateful when help comes, though, if we're open enough to accept it. It's just getting to that point where we can see the offers of help as something that will make us better, and not a commentary on any perceived shortcomings on our part. Most people want to help our manuscripts improve and while it may sting at first to read the critique, if we can sleep on it, generally it seems better in the morning and we can dig in to fix the problems.
What do you think? Are you more like the angry woman or the one who called 911?