May 04, 2019

A Little Perspective by Susan Barclay

Light at the end of the tunnel
Maybe I'm unusual, have a bad memory, or am obtuse, but I honestly can't think of a time when my writing was criticized, or at least criticized in a negative way. I've submitted work for school assignments, to critique groups, and to publishers, but any feedback I've received has been either helpful and constructive or offered as optional, for my consideration. I take suggestions, give them a fair mulling over, and either accept or reject them.

Now of course I've received rejections - any writer who submits work is bound to get those. (If not, please let me be the first to shake your hand and ask for your secret!) And most often those "no's" arrive without feedback, assuming the publisher chooses to respond at all. 

But I have a confession to make. Rejection doesn't really bother me, for the following reasons:

1. I've been rejected a lot in my life. I was a quiet kid, bookish, frequently picked last in team sports - you get the picture. No pity, please. I've been happy with my small group of loyal friends from the non-cool club and the experience has given me the thick skin required to keep submitting work even when I don't get a yes right away (or for ages).

2. I'm a Type B person. I strive for excellence, but not perfection. I (mostly) let things roll off me like water off a duck's back (cliché, but it works). I see criticism and constructive feedback through the lens of helping me improve my work - always a good thing.

3. I believe the old adage, "slow and steady wins the race." And "good things come to those who wait." I don't get overexcited if acceptance takes a while. I know my work is good and it's just a matter of time.

4. I've had a series of smaller successes that encourage me and keep me moving in the right direction. Publication in anthologies, including Chicken Soup for the Soul (twice), the opportunity to lead my church's Creative Writing Team, the chance to publish in FellowScript, are all prime examples of writerly accomplishment.

So, call me weird but I'm not going to let a little criticism get under my skin. And I hope you won't either.
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." ~ Jeremiah 29:11, NIV
 Perspective is everything.

Seeing the forest in the midst of the trees
Susan Barclay maintains a website at and has practically given up on blogging there. 😞


  1. I love this Susan! I think that's why God calls us to be grateful in all things, even the hard times. He knows our perspective is what can stop negativity getting under our skin!

  2. A very encouraging post, Susan. You have the right attitude!

  3. I love this too, Lynn. Thanks for the I-think-I-can attitude.


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