Janet Sumner Johnson
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On Overcoming Criticism


09, 2013 |

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So I recorded this video of my 4 y.o.:

She was very proud of it. But when I showed it to her brothers, 7 y.o. burst out laughing. “Oh! That is so embarrassing for her!”

I worried that she would get all self-conscious, but she was like a duck. The comment slid off her back as she grinned at her video on the computer screen, pride glowing from her.

And it was a flash of inspiration for me. There will always be someone out there ready to criticize. Ready to tell us we are silly (or worse) for doing what we did. For trying to write a book. For daring to think it might be good. For trying to get it published. For having published a book on that subject. Whatever.

But we have to be like my Girlie. We have to love our own work so much that it doesn’t matter what anyone else says. Let those criticisms slide off our back and move forward.* We need to be confident in ourselves.

Because guess what? When 4 y.o. asked to watch it again, 7 y.o. caught the bug. “So do I get to make one, too?”

What have you done when someone hit you with a criticism-bomb?

*To be clear, I’m not talking about critique partner or beta-reader comments that were requested. I’m talking about those un-requested, hurtful, put-downs that we can all do without.

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Pay It Forward


02, 2011 |

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Shelli, over at Market My Words, is having a Pay-It-Forward Contest. One of the requirements to enter is that you recognize in a blog post (or on Facebook) someone who has helped you in some way.

I love the idea of paying it forward, and I am an advocate of giving thanks, so I am excited to share. And I didn’t have to think long about who I wanted to thank.

Back when I was first introduced to the writing blogosphere by my fabulous CP Vicki, before I even kept a writing blog, I read a post about a writing contest over at Laurel’s Leaves. It was her Eleventy-one Celebration Writing Contest where she wanted a scene showing negotiation and persuasion.

I decided to enter, and lo and behold, I won! I was astonished . . . and even more astonished when she gave the break down on her blog of why she chose my piece.

I can’t express what it meant to me to have a complete stranger (at the time) say such kind things about my writing. It was just what I needed to hear right then. It boosted my confidence, and it was the catalyst that led to my starting a writing blog and to the drive to finally finish editing my book.

I just wanted to tell Laurel thank you for your contest and for your kind words. It all meant much more to me than I’m sure you could have guessed.


And in the spirit of thanks, feel free to give a shout out to someone who influenced your life for the better. 🙂

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