We all get knocked down sometimes. For me, it was just this weekend.
I made the mistake of reading a review that wasn’t terribly favourable. My heart plummeted into my stomach and my first thought was: “Why should I write anything if people won’t like it?”
Thankfully my little pity party didn’t last long. Looking back, I’ve thought about what I did to get myself back up, and here’s what I came up with:
Step 1: Dust yourself off
When you fail, when someone criticizes you, when you lose momentum: take a moment. Take a deep breath, and give yourself a minute to recover – not too much time, but not too little. You need a moment to heal, to think, and to assess.
Step 2: Sort out the truth from the lies
This is what happens during that moment: you consciously think of – maybe even write down – the thoughts that are going through your head right now. In my case, maybe “no one likes my writing” or “what’s the point of even doing this?” Seeing your thoughts on paper is especially powerful. Then you consider more than just the moment you’re in. In my case, I thought about the increase in my sales, and called to mind all the nice things people have said about my writing. So of course it’s not true that no one likes my writing. Just this one person who wrote the review. Then I thought about why I write. I write because I must – I’m inspired to. And I love doing it. So am I going to let one bad review stop me from doing what I love? Not likely.
Step 3: Confront the hard truths
Some of the things you hear might be true. Maybe you do need to work on grammar, or maybe you were out of line. I know I’m not a master writer. So I gleaned the truths in what the reviewer was saying, while being careful to guard myself from any hurtful negativity, both in the review, and in my own mind. Think what you can do to fix the problem. If it’s too late to fix that one, then think ahead to how you’ll do it differently next time. After all, failure is something we can learn from, if we choose to.
Step 4: Move forward
Most importantly, you have to keep going. You might be changing your course a bit, but the worst thing you can do is sit down on the ground and sulk in the middle of your failure. Adjust your focus if necessary, and get moving again.
Don’t let the dark times in your life get you down!
16 thoughts on “Monday Motivation: Get Back Up”
All very good advice. What always makes me feel better is remembering that some of the best authors in the world get hundreds of negative reviews. That’s the beauty of individual tastes and diversity. Glad you’re not letting it affect you 🙂
Thanks Sarah! 🙂
Fabulous advice, with a very gentle approach. I´m so glad you included the stopping for a moment to catch up our breath instead of going blindly ahead. Thank you.
Thanks Paula! I guess the gentle approach comes from me being so sensitive to this issue myself. 🙂
I am so bad at taking criticism! My Pastor once told me that you can learn more from your enemies than your friends, because they will say things to you your friends never would. But as you said, you have to sort out the truth from the lies, then use the truth to improve and don’t give the lies a second thought. I thought that was really good advice.
Thanks Laura. 🙂 We are so very much alike. I like the idea of learning more from your enemies than your friends. So true.
Reminds me of a favorite quote, think if was Wayne Gretsky who said, “You’ll always miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” Sometimes there’s a lesson to be learned in rejection or failure. Yet now and then that lesson is simply to avoid or ignore negative people. But we must be resilient and have the discipline for continued action.
I found a snarky comment on my blog one day, and it did bother me a lot. It was tough to muster up the motivation to keep writing. In the end, one who leaves negative comments on a blog is no one worth attention.
Absolutely, Carolan. Thanks!
Great post! No matter what you must keep going forward and as you said adjust your course. Thanks for sharing and these tips work not only for writing!
Thanks Vanessa! So glad to help! 🙂
good read Erin, I am not a writer but this applies to other areas in life, like being a mother =)
Very true, Bev! I can attest to that. 🙂
That’s great advice. I think it’s easy for us to take offence to criticism and take something personal when we shouldn’t. I constantly remind myself that it’s not me, it’s the perception or beliefs of the other person. (at least most of the time!)
We need to look at the facts, that way we won’t take it personal. And very important: keep going!
Absolutely. We can’t discount true things other say just because of the way they say them. (A hard thing for me)
Great insights, Erin! Every time I get discouraged about a rejection or a criticism of my writing, my husband always reminds me of how many rejections Dr. Seuss received before he got his first book published. I don’t remember the number, but it was a LOT.
So good to have people in our lives who can help us find the truth in the midst of the lies. Thanks for sharing!