Sunday, May 8, 2011

Kind Words: Better Than Prozac

Ever have an entire week of Mondays? I did recently, and on one of those endless days I was cranky, frustrated and rushed. I hopped out of the truck to run an errand, dropped off the package, and the person facing me said something that changed my day:

“I love your horoscopes.”

It’s a short sentence, but a powerful one for a writer to hear. I thanked the person and floated back to the truck.

I have been lucky enough in my freelance career to receive many such compliments, and they always seen to arrive just when I need them most. Sometimes it will be a face-to-face meeting with a reader of my column, other times it will be an e-mail or card from someone who appreciated an article I’ve done.

Within the last few years, I’ve started paying it forward by e-mailing, tweeting or leaving a Facebook comment for an author whose work I’ve truly enjoyed. Those comments are usually received enthusiastically, since under those rejection-hardened thick skins are often delicate egos needing a boost. Knowing that you’ve touched someone in a positive way with only your words makes all those nights and days hunched over a keyboard worth it, and kind, sincere words are something every writer needs to hear now and again.

If you’re concerned that all that praise goes to my head, don’t worry. If I’m feeling too big for my britches, that’s when I hear this:

“I read your stuff, you’re almost as funny as the last person who wrote for the paper.”

At least it all evens out.

What was the most memorable compliment you’ve received for your writing? Share below!


Jennifer said...

Aww! I am certain you are funnier than that last person! :D

Hmm.... compliments.. Most of the compliments I've received were for my poetry. One poem I wrote was even posted at an elementary school for teachers and parents to read. I felt a little overwhelmed by that, but it also felt good that it touched so many people. :)

Unknown said...

When several people in my critique group came up to me and threatened me with bodily harm if I didn't bring in my next chapter the following week. That may sound weird to some (I would NOT have enjoyed having the crap kicked out of me), but it was meant as a compliment. After they'd read and critiqued about half of the novel, I didn't submit anything for a month. They REALLY wanted to know what was going to happen next.