Tuesday, January 4, 2011


Grace is elegance. A beauty of form, manner, motion, or action (completely eludes me if I'm wearing heels). A pleasing or attractive quality or endowment. But its also a favor or an act of good will. Ah, but is it an attribute easily obtained? More often than not our Grace can be forgotten, lost behind the fog of our self esteem and self doubt. When we are criticized and rejected we seem to react before we remember our Grace. The first time I experienced criticism in regards to my work, I felt as though I'd just been kicked in the throat. I felt defeated and small, insignificant, foolish, and unintelligent. My knee jerk reaction was just that...to be a jerk. Later on, I realized that I am a human being. Nothing more and nothing less. I make mistakes. I bleed. I am no genius, no revolutionary figure the world would be lost without, no overnight sensation, and I don't sparkle in the sunlight (I'm still relatively disappointed about that last part. It's so not fair). But why is any of that so bad. To me it's just... normal (shrugs). So, the moment I accepted all of these things about myself was the day my writing career became a little less stressful. I need criticism. If I never got any, I'd never be able to improve on my writing, and I'd know someone was lying to me. Can you honestly name an absolutely perfect book? The story might be wonderful, plot driven, a real page turner. An inspirational masterpiece-whatever. But there's a typo in there somewhere. Maybe the cover could have been better. You wouldn't have chosen that word that sentence, the repeats, the back-story, or lack there of. And oh...my...gosh there's a cliche right there on page twenty two (shudder) like out in the open and everything. Then heaven forbid you're supposed to love the protagonist but you can't stop day dreaming about slapping her. It happens. Because books are written by human beings, edited by them, published and printed by them. Happens everyday (less these days but still). We are going to face rejection. The same rejection you may have faced back in the day on the playground when no one wanted to play with you and you had no idea why. No one had the Grace to tell you that snot had frozen to your cheek. Wouldn't you want to know that? Criticism is the same thing. We are all going to have embarrassing moments, much like the time you forgot that school got out two hours early and the kids caught the hubby brandishing a sword and wearing a kilt while you sashayed through the house wearing a peasants dress( kids are resilient, they'll be okay). We've all been there. But do you want to be an author who takes an ounce of criticism with equal parts of bitterness or would you rather be an author that accepts all of it with an ounce of Grace? I'll take Grace.


  1. Well, I've had some real bad ones on things I've written. I suffered through them okay. Dried my tears and said I'll just try the next one.

    I once walked into a boys bathroom in Jr. high. That was embarrasing. Can't undo what's been done. I don't know anyone who is perfect. Even editors, teachers, writers. . .God.

    When you get 10 different people saying 10 different thing, that's when you say, thank you, I'll go with my gut.

    Love your post/blog Tammy. (:

  2. bwhahahahahahahaha. ha. choke. ha.

    Um... there's a reason there are locks on doors. Next time you and your honey are role-playing - USE THE LOCK ON THE DOOR.

    But, none-the-less, I will also choose GRACE... well... after I laugh a little longer at you... I mean WITH you.

    bwhahahahahaha. I'm gonna ask my honey if he has a kilt.

  3. So what you're saying is that I'm absolutely not allowed to kick people in the throat or throw things at them when they criticise me?


    Okay, fine, fine. Grace it is ;)

  4. Thanks everyone for your comments.
    Lorelei, we have to learn not to take things so personally but more so constructively.

    Margo, glad you totally get my sick sense of humor;)

    And Amie, no one says we can't dream about kicking someone in the throat, we just shouldn't spend all of our days planning their demise. Bummer huh?

  5. I embarrass myself daily. Laughter is the best cure for that.

  6. Riiiiigh constructive feed back isn't "Sorry not for us".

    But it was interesting to see what everyone is saying here. And I got to post those nasty rejections that once had me feeling so badly and made fun of them at my blog, and my publisher's blog. Someone actually got MY sense of humor there.

  7. Grace is such a beautiful word and even more beautiful concept. We all need it. Great post!

  8. Great post : )

    There was a short time when I worried about every comment concerning my writing, but then I got over it. I just got sick of worrying and stopped. After all, even when I wrote the scenes I knew I would have to rewrite most of them anyway, so why not try to use criticism to improve my writing?

  9. What a great post, TC! And I love what you've done with the place. ;) Tres chic!

    Sorry it's taken me awhile to get over here. I agree with you, tho, it often eludes me as well. But the more we put ourselves out there for critiques, the thicker our skin gets and we can start to become more graceful under fire. It is how we grow.

  10. Thanks PK, I decided to decorate;) Thanks for all the great comments and welcome to all my new found friends.


Thank you for your comments. Me loves them!