I’ve never been the best at taking criticism. Like most people I’ve had my fair share of it both professionally and personally. When I’m faced with a critical judgement of my work or behavior, on the surface I take it pretty well. I smile and rely on manners taught to me since I was old enough to speak. But inside, it’s a different story. I examine the critique from every angle imaginable, analyzing everything from the words used to the tone or method it was delivered. If I feel their judgement has merit then I begin to beat myself up for not doing a better job, for letting someone down and so forth. If I believe they didn’t see the whole picture or were in some way off base, their words still stay with me. I’ll come back to their summation time and again to reexamine my findings, to assure myself that I hadn’t been the one off base all along. It’s called reflective thinking and I was born with a double dose of it.
Over the weekend a friend of mine was speaking with me about one of my books. He didn’t like the way a certain scene unfolded. I smiled and listened to his critique. I’ve bounced his words around in my head many times since. They hurt. When my husband spoke to me about it later, in private, he told me he was proud of the way I handled it. I told him, you can’t please everyone all the time and our friend has a right to his opinion.
Today, I opened up my email and found the same book was reviewed by The Night Owl Reviews. Their review was very positive. You can read it by clicking here. I appreciate the people at Night Owl taking the time to read my book and their kind words mean a great deal to me.
Even though I try to focus on the positive, which review do you think will bounce around in my head longer? Which review do you think will sit on my shoulder as I try to write the next scene in my current work in progress? Which review has me rattled and not wanting to write today?
Yeah, you guessed it.