Last week I was involved in a body workshop: mining emotions embedded in the body in order to come forth with the most genuine, resonant writing.
One of the things I realized is that we all, writers or not, often internalize criticism. If a parent or teacher or peer picks on a real or imaginary lack, we believe it. This criticism and the hurt it brings stays in the body, no matter how much we ignore it. It seems to take a lot of time to undo the damage it causes.
On the other hand, when someone gives us praise, it is hard to embrace it fully.
This week, I’ve made a conscious decision to embrace praise wherever I find it. To take it, appreciate it, and remember it.
I’ll also make a conscious effort to give more praise: I try always to find genuine facets to praise in people and their work, but I’ll now be particular, and try to step up the praise even more.
The same for critique: I maintain that almost as important as the crit is the way it is given: the generosity and kindness matters as much as the insight.
How about you? Are you able to embrace praise? What was the the last criticism you received in your life and work that hurt? How do you deal with it? If you could praise someone in your life, who would it be and what would you praise them for?
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