Saturday, July 27, 2013

"Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around." -Leo Buscaglia

You know, I love to write. (As you can probably see from this blog.) I like being able to create something with my words. I like to express myself through the written language. I like the freedom I feel in writing.

 But even though I love writing so much, it is incredibly easy to feel like it isn't very good. People say that you are your toughest critic, and I wholeheartedly believe it is true. I tend to be very hard on my writing, and if I write something that I really don't think is very good, I'll keep it (I hate throwing away anything I've written.), but I basically file it away and never show it to anyone. Maybe that's a bad system, but what can I say? Sometimes I'll go back and read something that I thought was really bad and realize that it really wasn't as bad as I thought it was. And, more often, I'll go back and read something I thought I thought was really good and realize it was actually pretty terrible.

And surely I'm not the only one who ever feels self-conscious of their writing!  (Or their art, or their cooking, or whatever.)

Just like all my other writing, I frequently feel self-conscious of my blog. Several thoughts run through my head pretty much anytime I get ready to post- Is it any good? Is it terrible? Does anyone actually read this? I decided a while back that, no matter if it was terrible, no matter if anyone actually read it, I was going to continue writing in my blog because I like to do it. If there comes a time when I no longer love it, then perhaps I shall think about stopping. But until such a time, I'm going to write anyways. Even having decided that, I always feel a little (or a big) twinge of nervousness when I post something.

People will sometimes tell me that they like my blog, but my brain usually comes up with at least one reason why I shouldn't actually believe them. (Don't ask me why. It's just how I am, I guess.) She's your mom, of course she'd say that. Now, it's not really that I don't trust my mom or value her opinion. And I really do appreciate hearing from her that she enjoyed my blog. I guess there's just a certain amount of understanding that because she's my mom she is at least a tiny bit biased towards me and anything I do. As someone once said, "I'm [your] mom. [You] could be playing Jingle Bells and I'd still say [you] were the best."

So, the other day I was riding with my sister's friend's (notice my oh-so-subtle use of italics) mom. I honestly don't know how it came up, but she said that she had been reading my blog and thought it was really good. Like, really good. She said that she used to teach a high-school English class, and that my writing was probably some of the best she had seen. 

I'm not quite sure what it is, but for some reason, getting a compliment from her was probably one of the best things anyone could ever say to me. Of all the people up to that point who had said they liked my blog, she was the first that I didn't even try to explain away.

And the amazing thing about it? I was having a rather rough day. I don't even remember now why my day had been rough, I just remember that it was. And that what she said made it infinitely better.

I guess what I really want to say is this- you never know how what you're saying will impact the other person. Even the simplest words can affect someone so much more than what you thought. Words are powerful. They can make someone's day. They can put a smile on someone's face. And they can do just the opposite. 

What will your words do?

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  1. This reminds me of "Words" by Hawk Nelson. I don't know if you've heard it, but I really like it.

    I couldn't manage to get it to embed, but here's the link:

    1. I love that song! It's been one of my favorites lately.