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Over and over again

published: 2008-10-02

Revisiting what I said about flamenco last week and how it surprised me that some women who were taking the advanced class were still really bad at it. I am now convinced (at least today I am) that being able to see just how good or how bad you are at something is one of the hardest things there is.
Here's what convinced me: yesterday, I sent a few pages of my new novel to an experienced writer and asked her to warn me if there were too many language mistakes. I'm writing in Dutch and Dutch is not my first language. It's my best language by now, but that's a different story. I remarked "but I think my language has improved a lot since my last novel."
It hasn't.
The pages she returned had more comments concerning weird sentence structures than I could have possibly expected. Which is when the strangest of things happened: the very moment she pointed these things out to me, I saw exactly what she meant and couldn't believe I hadn't seen the oddities that had slipped into my work.
How could I have NOT seen them?
So today, I'm going to read through what I've written once again. I'm wondering whether someone needs only once to show you your mistakes after which you can change them. Or whether you need someone to do that over and over again.
Again, there are lessons to be learned from flamenco. And these lessons are not only applicable to writing.

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