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Dealing with negativity and criticism is difficult. I knew it was coming, but the first encounter still hit me pretty hard.

 

Here is the irony: I don’t like to put myself out there. I love being anonymous and just part of the crowd. However, having decided to write a book, I find that I have no choice but to put myself out there, constantly marketing and promoting myself and my book.

Putting yourself in the spotlight is a double-edged sword. You will receive praise, and you also be judged harshly…all very publicly.

During the Christmas holidays, I was on Amazon ordering books for my sons when I noticed that I received my first one-star review:

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Burn! His comment cut deep into my veins and I felt that I had been openly humiliated. He has a point that much of it does read like a textbook.

He is also right to make sure your content appeals to the local customs and culture. At that time, I was reading Amy Poehler’s “Yes Please”, which made me think: “Man, I wish I had been able to use that style for my book.” Funny, sassy and smart.  Unfortunately, I am not Amy Poehler. I just don’t write like that. 

I let the comment sit for several days. Finally, I replied:

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When he read the title, he may have a different expectation. I decided to apologize to him. I just can’t please everyone. Because of his comments, I started thinking about my writing style. There are certainly ways to improve my writing to make it more lively.     

When I told my husband, he kindly reminded me of the other 79 positive comments I received. It’s interesting to see how a single two-line negative comment can completely negate the joy of receiving 79 positive comments.     

Then, I received a LinkedIn message from Melissa Romo, Director of Global Content at Sage:

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Wow! Her kind note not only lifted my spirit, but also propelled me out of the “I suck” pot hole.  Thank you, Melissa. By the way, Melissa published a historical novel, Blue-Eyed Son. She will also speak at a Digital Marketing Event in Dublin.  CHECK HER OUT!

I receive plenty of constructive criticism via speaking workshops, class surveys, and reader feedback. I take them seriously and do whatever possible to make my next speaking session, workshop and class better. But none of the previous feedback had been in a public forum. I’ve, somehow, felt safe.

I expected to get criticized, slammed and crushed when I decided to put myself out there as a blogger, speaker, and author. I knew criticism was coming, but the first encounter still hit me pretty hard. Criticism is important and needs to be listened to, understood and, usually, acted upon. The cut is not so deep anymore when I can talk about this openly on my blog. I just…….keep trying and writing.

The image of this blog post says it very well: “If they don’t know you personally, don’t take it personal.” Learn from the criticism, and then let it go. #Strong #Bepositive #Laugh #Keeptrying

 

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Author

Pam Didner

Posted on

January 18, 2016

Category
Personal Journal