Writer/teacher/writing coach Kristi Holl offers sound advice and lots to think about on her blog, Writing to Encourage (www.kristiholl.com). Following her post, “Conversations Crucial for Creative Success”, I emailed her about lack of support for my writing from people who I thought would be supportive–ie., family members.
Kristi’s reply (reprinted here with permission): “One thing about learning to deal with family members who aren’t supportive or who ridicule: once you learn how to handle it, and forgive it, and let God comfort and support you, and work anyway…then later in your career when you have to deal with stuff like a negative review by someone, it’s not all that hard. Negative reviews from non-family members don’t have the power to hurt you nearly so much. When you do the hard stuff early on, it makes the way easier later.”
To me, her reply was as valuable as if I picked up a lump of coal, and then, as I rubbed my fingers on it, finding it was actually a diamond! I almost missed the “diamond” (the ability to brush off negative reviews) due to the “lump of coal” it was hiding in (negative comments or disbelief from family members). Had Kristi not pointed out the good in the painful circumstance, I would have missed it–and who knows how often I’ll need such perspective.