Grateful for Crumbs of Praise

on November 17, 2011 in Misc

If you’re a writer like me, you probably savor even the smallest compliment anyone gives your writing.

Like a starving beggar being thrown a crust of bread, I pounce on every favorable word, like interesting and intriguing and fun.  I dissect and analyze simple  sentences such as, “I really liked your book,” as in Is he just being polite or does he really, truly like and almost love my book and what’s he gonna tell other people about it and how does he think it compares to other books in the genre and…?

So you can imagine how I felt when I recently got emails from an overseas distant relative and another from an almost stranger/author, and they RAVE about The Compass Master.   As in “Talk about Dan Brown – he’s got nothing on you,” and “It’s so much better written than The Da Vinci Code!” and “I love the main characters, and I just can’t wait to see what happens next.”

Swear to God, my initial pleasure reaction was so bone-deep I was giggling and grinning like a brainless twit.  And of course I tell myself they’re right and it’s not just my imagination or flashes of desperate ego that whisper to me maybe I’m good at this craft.  And of course one reason I’m happily rolling around in these compliments like a goofy dog in the grass is because I know that any day now life will sucker punch me with a cold hard reality check, and I’ll come thudding back down to earth where I’ll go through yet another bout of insecurity and borderline depression.

This is why we writers understand what Mark Twain meant when he said, “I can live for two months on a good compliment.”

EXACTLY!  Who needs food?  Who needs shelter?  I got me some really hot compliments so I’m doing just fine.  Sure, this feeling won’t last.  If we writers know anything it’s the emotional bipolar torture writing can inflict on us.

But for right now, for some of us, today is a good day.

6 Responses to “Grateful for Crumbs of Praise”

  1. A couple recent review online by complete strangers made me smile. Nice when someone we don’t know gets our story.
    And surprised you don’t follow more blogs than you do…

  2. ann says:

    Those are wonderful comments on TCM. You ARE a very good writer. An unexpected compliment from a stranger is even more fun than hearing it from your friends and family. Its like having a nice looking man (not my husband) tell me my ass looks amazing. Somehow it just means more especially when it wasn’t solicited. Congrats!

  3. Helena says:

    Alex — In fact I follow more blogs than I list, and yours is one of them — I’ll add them now. But you’re right that I should follow more.

  4. Helena says:

    Ann – you always did have a cute ass. So tell me about this nice-looking stranger…

  5. Old Kitty says:

    Well done you!! Yay!! Awww I hope you don’t forsake a good meal altogether or at least chocolate! Oh but seriously – what a lovely email to receive and such deserved praise too – YAY for you! Lots more to come!! Take care

  6. Helena says:

    Old Kitty — Thanks so much! But weirdly, my weakness isn’t chocolate, it’s cheese. Lots and lots of different kinds of cheeses.