Janet Sumner Johnson
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On Overcoming Criticism

Dec 09, 2013 Uncategorized 8 comments

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.


8 Responses to “On Overcoming Criticism”

  1. Great illustration of having healthy love for one's work. I think it's in Steven Pressfield's War of Art that he talks about what motivates those who love to crush other's dreams–largely they can't get over their own fears and are lashing out at those courageous enough to try.

  2. Old Kitty says:

    Awwwww what a cutie!! How adorable!! Tell her to ignore adversity and to sing her little heart out some more! Yay!!! Take care

  3. Kimberly says:

    What a cutie! She must have an awesome mom that helps show her how to let it roll off her back. Good for her. Really great post.

  4. Karen Lange says:

    What a wonderful lesson! I must remember this. Thanks so much for sharing!

    Have a great week! 🙂

  5. Bad reviews sting, and so do hateful comments by unhappy parents (of my students). It's hard not to take it personally, but you have to remember that negative statements say more about the person speaking than about what they are criticizing.

  6. Well I think the video is adorable!!!!

    Dianne is so right. You see a lot of negativity in reviews, and quickly realize these individuals have issues. Period. It has nothing to do with the book. It's just that they like to be hurtful…or they just don't care. These individuals don't even write useful reviews. They're just individuals who like to attack authors for whatever reason.

  7. Your daughter is a cutie! She should be proud of herself. She did a great job.

  8. Marcia says:

    We have a lot to learn from kids who haven't yet reached that self-conscious stage. Very nice!

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