The Importance of Praise


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On Thanksgiving, I went to a family meal with some of my relatives.  It was pretty fun and I got to pet some dogs.

Then one of my relatives pulled out his iPhone to show off a video of his daughter.  She wants to be an actress.  She also sings (she did not get that from our side of the family).  The video was of her singing.

Her reponse?  She didn’t want him to show the video.  She got very upset.

I had to explain to her that you never tell you fans you don’t want them watching you.  I don’t think she really got it though.

But I remember a few years back what a writer did to me…

Writers Putting Work Down

I have a fantasy trilogy that is falling apart.  The viewpoint had this wonderful storytelling quality that really pulled me into the story and it was magical.  When I finished the last book. I sighed, both wishing I had another book because it was so good and because it had resolved so satisfactorily.

They used to be my re-read books.  Haven’t touched them in years.

Because of the writer.

One time on my blog, I wrote about the books and talked about the viewpoint.  The books were in omniscient, which can feel like you’re sitting down in front of a fire as someone tells you a story.

Enter the writer, who commented on her blog.  She was polite and friendly, but she said she’d learned a lot since she wrote those books.

She said she’d have done the viewpoint differently now.

She said she was going to revise those books and change the viewpoint.

Ack!

The thing I really liked about the book.  I don’t think she realized she’d just insulted one of her readers.

As a result, the books fell off my re-read list.  I don’t remember the magical story anymore.  I just remember that the writer was going to change books I liked.

Praise is a two way street

Writing Nerd gets a lot of “Thank you for your service.”  The response is to smile, say, “You’re welcome,” and that’s it.

It’s hard because we’re taught that that bragging is distasteful–and it is, if you’ve heard someone brag.  It isn’t about the creation or being successful; it’s about them feeling superior to everyone else. 

But bragging isn’t the same thing as accepting praise. Where bragging is about just ourselves, accepting praise is about us and the person giving the praise.

It makes both of us feel good, if we let it.

One thought on “The Importance of Praise

  1. Pagadan December 3, 2019 / 7:49 pm

    A long time ago I read a romance that I really liked–as did my siblings. I loved the hero and the romance. In the writer’s next book, she killed the hero and gave the heroine a new hero.We were all really irked. No point rereading that book or the new ones. (I wonder if she killed any more of her heroes.)

    Btw, when Joss Whedon killed Wash and Shepherd in Serenity, I lost all inclination to rewatch it. It would have had legs!

    Like

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