There is no greater compliment than being told my writing is something worthwhile. Writing is the one skill I have, this craft I have spent more time on than anything else. It is what I'm passionate about, what I can't imagine life without. I still remember once when I was a kid and my dad tousled my hair and said, "that's my little writer." That carried me for a long time.
In undergrad, a professor wrote on the back of an academic paper:
You're a kick. I laughed/chuckled numerous times. And your wit is trenchant [sharp, acute, incisive]!
Honestly, Holly, you need to WRITE [maybe books] in your future!! Listen up, F.S.*, this be yer teacher talkin'...TAKE CREATIVE WRITING!!
*F.S. stood for Favorite Student. I had got him to admit it.
That carried me for a long time, too. I ripped his note off the back of the paper and kept it in a notebook.
Then there were blog comments and those carried me.
And then today, I woke up to my best birthday present yet:
this last packet is amazing.
I am sending it back tomorrow. there is one chapter that isn't quite as strong as the rest, and as usual, I did my nipping and tucking, but
Jesus girl, you can write.
I am delighted. And some of these critical papers should be sent out.
This will carry me for awhile.
But the beautiful thing is, I don't need these compliments anymore, as much as I want them. I have learned to believe them, without being told. I have learned who I am without being directed. Both as a writer and as a person. All the while, I had been writing through the rough draft and now I'm polishing myself into something more like a final version.