Words that StickI finalled in a contest yesterday with my 2006 finalist, Don’t Look Back. My scores were good, 90, 91, 100!!
I entered another, newer manuscript in the same contest, different category. My scores were a bit more spread out – 99, 98, 76, 56.
Guess which scores kept me up last night?
When I was at The School from Hell, She-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named made a comment about an outfit (that I’m wearing today, coincidentally). She said one of the board members leaned over to her at the PTA program and asked what I was thinking, wearing such a thing. Now, I was about 25 pounds lighter, no skinny-mini, but wearing black capris and a bright Hawaiian print t-shirt didn’t seem like such a no-no. Still, I remember that comment 4 years after it was made.
A good friend of mine revealed that ONE negative comment from a friend hurt her so much she stopped writing. All the wonderful things I could say about her story and her writing couldn’t conquer that ONE negative comment!
So why do the negative comments stick? I KNOW I’m not perfect, I shouldn’t expect to be. So why do reminders that I’m not stay with me for YEARS?
I know some of it is because I want to improve. That’s certainly what kept me up with the scores last night. HOW can I make the story better? (Fortunately, the judges gave me clear comments as to what they didn’t like. Most of them were even, um, not snotty.)
I know I’m not alone. What I don’t know is how to let go.