How to Handle Criticism—Part II

via Flickr

via Flickr

What a difference a week makes. I’m more at peace now than I was just six and seven days ago. And I also noticed I’ve put up other posts from time to time about handling criticism. Last week was very difficult for me. I felt humiliated in some ways, and I had to humble myself in others.

But I learned that how I respond to problems and challenges is the most important thing. Click to Tweet #amwriting #criticism

I talked about a 95% re-write of a story that had 10 extra eyeballs critiquing and editing it. Evidently that wasn’t enough. I ended up paying a young woman just getting started in her editing business. She did help me a lot. I’ll say that for the experience. She has great character and a large heart, and she helped me in ways that I would never have thought of.

First, it’s humbling to admit you need help. I’d had to crank out my 95% re-write in just two weeks’ time. It was hard, but I did it, when two of my colleagues didn’t think I could finish it—or be able to stand having their submission agent give me suggestions on how to make my manuscript “publish-ready.”

Secondly, my responses last week were not perfect, believe me. I got angry and upset at everything going on. It felt to me as if my two prior weeks of very long hours and hard work were negated. They weren’t, but that’s how I felt.

I’ve learned again that everyone needs to cultivate an attitude of humility. What does that mean?

Webster’s says: “the state or quality of being humble; absence of pride or self-assertion.”

Uh-oh. I certainly didn’t score 100% on that, maybe 50/50.

The Thesaurus weighs in with: “self-effacement, unpretentiousness, humbleness, modesty, meekness, shyness, and unassuming nature.”

Again, my self-examination shows my degree of success and failure.

My humility had to do with allowing others to critique and change my work. Especially the young woman brought in at the last moment. I do give her a lot of credit, but I wasn’t ready to share authorship with her—that’s where I drew the line, and became a bit prideful in guarding my identity and work. I allowed her to change my work only to a certain degree. She did make it better. And, she showed me how to improve my own writing.

Where I fell short was in the area of identity. It’s always been a struggle for me. I’ve always taken my identity from what I did, my job, areas of ministry, service, etc.

I have since learned that I am a child of God. My identity is in Him. He created me and God, who began a good work in me, will be faithful to complete it. Click to Tweet #amwriting #criticism

What about you? Do you have areas of problems with your identity as a human being? Leave a comment and let me know.

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2 thoughts on “How to Handle Criticism—Part II

  1. Thanks Dorothy. It’s so wonderful to keep in touch with you after all these years. I’ll never forget meeting you Easter weekend of 1972 at ORU. 🙂 Blessings to you, Dorothy. I’m able to breathe again this week. Haven’t heard a peep about my project and probably won’t until or unless the publisher makes a decision to either publish it or not. Then, my agent will let me know. 🙂

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