The Editors Have Come Back with Their Thoughts about My Book
The heartbreaking moments that lead to the greatest "aha" moments!
Well, I got the email from my editors about my upcoming book: The Union of the Masculine & Feminine… and truthfully, my heart absolutely sank. There are three parts to the editing process. The first is the structural edit where they look at the whole thing and decide if it’s in the right order, if is it missing things, and if there are topics that need to be cut. The second edit is the line edit where they look at grammar, sentence structure, etc. and the third is the final proof.
This was the structural review - which is always the most difficult. This is where you realize again why you don’t ask your friends to edit or review your book… because sometimes you need someone to challenge you and say the things that you don’t want to hear.
It’s important to note that I hired this editorial team because they’re awesome. The main editor worked with me on my book, Tantric Intimacy, and I have so much respect for her, I wanted her on this book journey as well. So, we must keep this in mind. My response to their editorial review is all that matters. What they said was perfect - whether I agree with them or not.
Please note that they also said all kinds of amazing things and had great praise for lots within the book which I was thrilled about… but of course, it isn’t the praise that we struggle with in life… it’s the criticism. Hence the focus of this article.
Sometimes the Critique is Correct
When you’ve written something from your soul and you’ve hired someone to give you an honest critique, they will often come back with observations that really cut to the heart. So, you listen. You absorb the blow (because that’s what it can feel like) and then after you’ve taken a few breaths, you realize that they are absolutely right. Their insights help you to write better context for the point you are trying to make. Maybe you’re making generalizations that are only true in your society or for certain demographics within that society.
Your correction based on this allows the future reader to agree with you because you haven’t made false statements - either made in haste or more often, those statements have simply never been challenged before.
This is my third book that had an official editor. So, I’ve had enough constructive criticism to allow for the fact that they are often correct. And whether I like it or not, they are my first audience. So, if they read what I’ve written in a certain way, it is very likely that many more will take away the same thing. So, it’s wonderful to have a chance to change and rewrite in order to say what I truly mean.
Sometimes They Aren’t Right
There were things that I was stating about masculine and feminine dynamics in relationships that one or both editors strongly disagreed with. They assumed that my perceptions of relations were too narrow and I wasn’t allowing all people to express whatever polarity they wanted.
I chewed on this a lot. In fact, it bothered me right to my core. It bothered me so much that I started questioning why I was even writing the book. Why did I write books at all? Why don’t I just move to the tropics and live on the beach?
Hmmmm… When my thoughts start going there, I know that something has gone way off the rails. Something is very wrong in my thought processes.
After chatting and dissecting many of the difficult topics with my friends, I finally realized what the problem was. I had to decide whether some of my ideas were important enough to me to risk upsetting people. Was this a hill I was willing to die on?
The answer was YES. What I’m writing about in the book might be radical to some. In today’s day of all the confusion around masculine, feminine, gender, orientation, etc, what I’m saying might be challenging to hear. (Don’t get me wrong. It’s not hateful or similar to the controversies all over social media).
What I’m saying in the book is helpful. It helps us find our truth. It helps us find the path that strengthens us and then helps us connect with others in truly incredible ways. For many of you who have read my book Tantric Intimacy, have attended my classes, or watched many of my videos about the masculine and feminine, my ideas won’t likely be radical at all. (See a list of related videos below)
But for many, these ideas may feel like they’re coming out of left field. So, instead of changing my stance, I must explain myself better and give better context.
But the very topics that I got pushback on are the entire reason I’m writing the book. So, it was the perfect feedback to make me even clearer!
Sometimes the Message You Need is Hiding in the Critique
One of the challenges in writing this book is that I want it to be inclusive of everyone - all genders and orientations. Unfortunately, because the topic is masculine and feminine, and these don’t necessarily follow gender, the language can become very cumbersome. If I was simply speaking to a heterosexual crowd, it would be effortless to write. However, this doesn’t represent everyone properly… so a new way of writing is necessary.
This difficulty was certainly picked up by the editors. Plus, they wondered if I was truly representing all aspects of the LGBTQ community. Was I generalizing? Were many of the things I was saying true?
So, they asked that I become clearer about my demographic. Maybe it was better to focus on a more narrow audience so that I could more simply and accurately say what I wanted to say.
Well, this took the breath out of me. I was devastated at the idea that my book wouldn’t apply to all people regardless of gender or orientation. I couldn’t imagine splitting the population this way. But I always consider their opinion because I truly respect them… but the more I considered it, the worse I felt.
But then I realized that they were right. I DID have to figure out who my actual demographic was. But the split wasn’t about gender or orientation. It was about people’s desires in life.
A New & Improved Title
Another struggle we were having was that when I would talk about the “union” of two people, I would describe the importance of polarity. I would talk about people exploring their preferred polarity (in intimate relationships… not in life… that’s a balance that is a whole other story). There was the argument that many people can have perfectly happy relationships without this polarity. Or that some people have no desire to polarize, etc.
Again I realized that I hadn’t described myself properly… and in my frustration, I finally realized that I had been avoiding saying what I really wanted to say.
I’m not talking about a simple and loving connection. I’m talking about the potential of DIVINE UNION. I’m talking about two people’s energies actually merging allowing us to experience pure bliss together. I’m talking about experiencing something transcendental in the union of two people.
That’s when I realized who my actual demographic was. This book is for anyone who wants to explore deeper kinds of union. It is for couples who want to understand why the spark has left. It’s for single people who want a new model for truly dynamic relationships. It is for anyone who knows that something much greater is possible in intimate union and is looking for a new way of looking at relationships so that they can experience it!
And these people are in all communities, all genders, and all orientations.
It took my editor’s brilliant critiques to finally make me say what I really wanted to say. I have struggled for much of my life trying to make sure that what I’m saying is digestible and acceptable to at least the majority of the people around me. But when we do this, we often water down what we really believe… and sometimes start believing the watered-down version ourselves.
Hence my new and updated title of the book: DIVINE UNION OF THE MASCULINE & FEMININE.
This changes everything. This allows me to have a much sharper pencil as I write. This gives the proper context for the magic that is possible in the masculine and feminine dance - everything from a simple and joyful conversation between friends to the most epic intimate merging that takes you to another dimension.
THIS IS THE BOOK THAT I TRULY WANTED TO WRITE.
The Juice of Life
At one point, I was out for a walk with Storm (my grand-dog) during my difficult inner wrestle with all of this. As I felt all the horrible emotions going through my body, the thought came into my mind: “This may feel horrible. But it really is the juice of life”.
Being challenged is such a gift. It stirs so much inside of us. It asks us to dig deep and say what we really mean. It requires us to fight for what we desire and also hear things that we may not want to hear.
And so, again, I am so incredibly thankful for these wonderful editors who have deeply challenged me to write the book that I truly want to share with the world.
What a juicy few days it has been!
Here are links to recordings of previous classes about the Masculine & Feminine:
Balancing the Masculine & Feminine Within for Total Happiness
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To find out more about my courses, books, and consultations, please visit my website KATRINABOS.CA. If you would like to learn more about yoga & meditation, please visit my yoga academy SATYA YOGA ACADEMY.
Critique can be so difficult to hear, especially regarding something creative, because our creativity is such a visceral part of our being. It cuts right down to our soul. The trick is to let the soul have time to digest that critique, and get over the initial sting. I am even more excited to read the book now!
I love this so much!!! I understand every part of what you're saying! Perhaps your editors need to be on Insight Timer and then they'll understand ;) And I love the line about challenges creating the juice. It is so so difficult those trying times, but can be so potent too. Thank you for that reminder. And for staying true to your own self.