Criticism

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Where I’m at Wednesday

I hope you had a great night bringing in the New Year. I surely did.

Always with the new comes uncertainty. I am guilty of over romanticizing or having high expectations each New Year, but by the  end, I am just grateful to survive.

When reflecting on the past year, I try to remember the good times, but I cannot ignore the bad. Everything is a lesson. Even though it is easier to recall bad situations than the good, I must try to stay positive—think positively.

Someone sent me an idea. For every good, positive thing that happens throughout the year, write it in on a piece of paper, and place it in a jar. Then at the end of the year, open and read each note. This may be the first New Year’s resolution that I can make into a tradition.

Okay, down to business. Where I’m at on the Omphalos: finishing chapter 17, and in the process of rewriting chapter 18. I started writing them simultaneously—taking breaks in between each sentence or paragraph to work on the other. I don’t think I can keep it up, but it’s coming along nicely.

Happy New Year to all my friends, family, and followers!

Take care.

*New year

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Criticism

Criticism is something you can easily avoid by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.” –Aristotle  

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Criticism isn’t easy to hear or read. It feels like a reflection of failure. But is that always the case? I don’t think so. As a writer, you must grow tougher skin—especially if you have sent out query letters and gotten rejection letters in return. When negative reviews come in, it isn’t easy to bear.

I can imagine how long you’ve worked on your manuscript—writing it to completion, polishing the edits, and finalizing it into brilliance. Keep in mind that critics are lurking; however, not all are meant to harm you.

Ask yourself:  Is there truth in their criticism? If so, then maybe they aren’t intending to hurt your feelings, but give you “constructive criticism”. Try to see a positive side no matter how much it hurt.

Granted, some people deliver criticism tactfully, but others are blunt.

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Why do people criticize?

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Some people show an honest concern. They don’t know they are being critical. In their minds, they’re being helpful. Try not to take their critique as bashing, which may cause you to lash out. Look for the positive, “constructive” criticism—they may be right.

Other people are mean spirited. Let’s face it, the world is a cruel place and jerks reside amongst us. They blurt out whatever hurts the most to tear you down. Either they are jealous, ignorant, or downright mean; try not to take their cruelty to heart. Let their harsh words glide off you like water on a duck’s back. Please, remain silent and do not fire-back—it’ll make you look bad.

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Flipping the negativity:

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People are going to say things that aren’t nice—whether intentional or not—they think it’s their way of expressing an opinion. Try to step away for a moment to compose yourself. Don’t react right away, or better—not at all. Look for truth in their criticism. If you can’t find anything of value, disregard it, smile, and go on.

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Take for example Amy’s Bakery. Being I’m from Arizona, the uproar caused from Gordon Ramsay’s televised show astounded everyone. People flocked in droves to see the infamous character of Amy’s Bakery. But was she all bad? I don’t think so, and here’s why:

A lot of people don’t know how to take criticism—whether it’s constructive or mean-spirited. It is the tell-tale signs that they personally have faced many painful incidences, and to them criticism means malicious, spiteful, and hateful. They prepare for a fight, even though a conflict isn’t ensuing. If they could realize that some criticism isn’t said to tear them down, but instead to build them up—then everything might turn out differently.

Apparently, it all started with a customer’s comments made on Reddit. She responded with harsher words, and so the controversy ensued. Sometimes, it is difficult to deal with criticism. Some of us want to respond. What could have changed the outcome is to ignore the harsh comment(s), learn from it, and try to look for something positive instead of negative.  Instead of lashing out against a customer with an opinion, she should have asked what could she do to better their product or service.

I know what it’s like dealing with the public. At times, it is most unbearable. I contemplated walking out on SO many occasions, but my regular customers made it worth staying for.

There is also a reality with serving the public—you need them!

If your livelihood depends on customers, and you lash-out at everyone, then eventually you aren’t going to have customers left. No one will buy what you’re selling; no matter how good or discounted it may be.

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