I need to confess a judgementy sin yet again. How funny it is (or, maybe not funny) that I don’t think I judge the “big stuff,” bur people’s little pesky, gnatty sins? I relish taking notice and internally critiquing those. And I did it once again when I heard the story of a writer, who upon meeting the reviewer of one of his books, lashed out at the reviewer. The author told the reviewer how he hated the review, how unfair it was. To his face.
Appalled. Naturally. But superior, also. Because this author had sold a bazillion books, his name recognized far and wide. And his skin? Paper thin. So while I shook my head at the author’s unprofessionalism and rudeness and obvious insecurity, I patted myself on the back for being none of these things.
And then about two hours later I read a review for Broke. And I freaked out on the inside, went e-running to writer friends to bolster me up, to bind my wounds. Of course, the review itself was good. The reviewer offered some push-back (all fine), but mostly she offered kind words. The problem was the stars? Only 3. Out of 5. A good review. A C grade. Or so it seemed.
My pride was bruised. I didn’t hate the review but I hated the stars. (Stupid stars.) And while if I ran into the reviewer today, I’d still thank her for taking the time to read and review it. I feel no anger toward her (only the stars). But as I stung and smarted at the stars, I understood–as I should’ve all along–how the other writer, that insecure, thin-skinned one could lash out at a reviewer. What’s the saying? Hurt people hurt people.
So God, forgive me for judging him harshly. For thinking myself better than him. Forgive me for thinking that my pride was less wrapped up in my work. Forgive me for forgetting that the other writer might not have had friends to go to, to reassure, to commiserate, to remind him that having thick skin doesn’t mean nothing gets through. And it shouldn’t. Because then what kind of writers would we be? If left unable to feel the feels?