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Four Ways to Feed Off Feedback

If you’re like me, sometimes it’s tough to process feedback on your writing in an effective way. Doesn’t matter whether it’s your writers’ group, beta readers, reviewers, your agent, your editor–none of us humans are wired to welcome criticism.

I talk through my formula for taking in feedback and making it work for you so it’s actually nutritious and life giving, instead of something that drains you.

  1. Say Yes to the No
  2. Request Compliments
  3. Point and Click
  4. Balance the Seesaw

If you’ve got ways to feed off feedback, let me know!

And shout-out to my writer pal, Becky Moynihan, who’s awesome at embracing feedback, and whose second book birthday is upon us, ADAPTIVE! Check out her YA dystopian fantasy series here.

 

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Author Head Shots: Embrace ‘Em, Wholeheartedly

“We’re afraid that our truth isn’t enough–that what we have to offer isn’t enough without the bells and whistles, without editing, and impressing.”

— Brené Brown

I keep yanking at this new line in my face, one that popped about a week ago. Apparently I can Botox things away with a finger. I don’t feel worthy of a mirror, and I sure don’t feel worthy of an author head shot.

Teresa Porter, my fabulous photographer of My Friend Teresa Photography, she’s truly magical. But she’s not God, right? I mean, I’m six years older than these last shots (which were Goddess epic). The woman can only do so much. I am FIFTY. Right?

Between that self-flagellating thought and the brain fog, the searching for my glasses and trying to remember whether I took my Allegra, I sometimes don’t even recognize myself. My young, impatient self back in the day, hating on “slow” and aged people who didn’t match my pace, my needs, my expectations–where the hell is she?

The barrage of self-incriminating questions beats at your self-confidence as you head out on a shoot.

“Nobody told me there’d be days like these…

Strange days indeed — most peculiar, Mama”

— John Lennon

Whenever whatever bit of yourself you found beautiful begins to wane, a woman faces the question, “What am I worth if my body doesn’t ‘work’?” (And if you don’t ask yourself these things, Amazing Lady Reading This, I bow to thee. I feel like I’ve been told by America at Large since I could find a mirror that something was always off. That me as is just isn’t “enough.” Nose too big. Hair too frizzy. Chest too flat. Too tall. Acne, oh, acne. Mark on my front tooth. One eye bigger than the other. And now, wrinkles. Sags. Puffiness. Jowls.)

I know, shut up.

Brené Brown talks about wholeheartedness as the opposite of scarcity. Not abundance. Wholeheartedness.

What if I, instead of seeking an abundance of smooth, tight skin or glow-in-the-dark teeth, I just said, I AM ENOUGH? Gave Lyn As She Is a big ol’ hug?

I guess we’re all Hamiltons at heart, wired to never be satisfied, many of us with immigrant forebears who traded up while they doubled down on the dissatisfaction with their homeland.

But even if we have the power to make new nations, we can’t hate the old stuff. We can’t hate our history. We are our forebears, our childhood, our adulthood, our yesterdays.

“Yester-you, yester-me, yesterday…”

– Stevie Wonder

Did I say I was 50? Which means I’ve earned every fantabulous line on this face?

Teresa’s job is not to tighten my lines or smooth my edges. Her job is not to Kardashian the age off my skin and leave me and the world thinking I’m all of 35. No.

Her job is to make my heart leap from my eyes and shine from my face.

Her job is to catch me at that relaxed moment when the soul takes a breath.

And knowing Teresa, she will.

Ladies, you are worthy. You’ve earned every dent in the skin.

I don’t have to be perfect.

I won’t try so hard.

I won’t worry so much.

I’ll enjoy my photo shoot.

I will embrace this life as is with a whole heart.

This is a Lyn Selfie. Teresa Magic coming soon to a blog near you!