My Own Worst Critic

Selah awardLast week Until the Harvest won a Selah Award for Historical Fiction. Yay! In the course of the evening, a friend turned around and snapped a photo of me back at the table holding my award. Then she tweeted the photo out and it got lots of shares and likes.

Cool–right?

Well, I showed the photo to my husband that evening and he smiled and said something about how photogenic I am. So I checked the photo again. Nope, my hair was still wispy in the wrong places, my face still scrunched by too much smile, and did I even remember to wear make-up?!?

All I could see where flaws–real or imagined–and all my husband could see was his wife looking really happy. If I try, I can even take a step back and see that yes, it IS a good picture accurately capturing a very happy moment in time.

But my instinct is to pick that photo apart. It’s the same when I finally get a copy of one of my novels. All I can see is the missed typo on page 128. The detail I SHOULD have thought to include. The author bio that feels flat to me. The author photo . . . well, let’s not even talk about that.

Because all too often we’re our own worst critics. For me, I think I’m trying to anticipate–and hopefully preempt–any one else’s criticism. If I see it first, it won’t take me by surprise when someone points out the flaw, the error, the mistake.

But then people surprise me. More often than not they see the beauty, the plan, the design. That’s because my focus is on ME and theirs, perhaps, is on what God has accomplished through me.

And He’s the one who made that smile that crinkles my nose and squinches my eyes. Guess that makes it just about perfect . . .

6 thoughts on “My Own Worst Critic

  1. mom

    That picture is precious to me because it shows the pure joy you have in people’s recognition of your expression of God in your life and through your words. Not just a mother’s pride because others have told me pretty much the same thing! I love you and I love that smile.

  2. Ellie Mercer

    Congratulations….. I wouldn’t expect anything less than a happy,, happy grin…. after all, you don’t write your stories with the idea that they’ll be ignored…..this honor only reflects what your readers tell you… your characters are real to us and they deserve recognition…..

  3. This post took my breath away. This is probably my #1 struggle and you put it into words for me. Thank you for writing this! And congratulations again….a huge (and well-deserved) honor for my beautiful, talented friend!

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