Risk taking: week one

This week I was invited to a link party by Randee of Randee's Organized Chaos where she hosted a link up that was all about constructive criticism.  As a former teacher, I know how important getting genuine, objective feedback on whatever project you're working on can be.  A fresh set of eyes can be enlightening and incredibly helpful.  Handling the criticism part could be where it gets dodgy.  In the spirit of risk taking which I talked about here, I decided to put myself out there and get two anonymous critiques of my blog. I won't lie and say that I wasn't feeling a bit daunted at the prospect of what two other bloggers, perhaps more seasoned than I, thought of my blog, but I took the plunge and did it anyway, hoping to learn something in the process.

So what did I learn?  Well, it's really easy to hear the complimentary stuff, and even some of the little personal opinions that might be different from my own.  The first reviewer gave me fantastic advice, especially with subtle layout and technical things that I was too close to pick up on. Even her/his negatives, were polite and helpful. I was feeling mature and proud of how I handled the criticism. And then my second critique was emailed to me.  And apparently, I suck. No bones about it. Ouch.

I have to be honest, my maturity went right out the window for a minute or two.  It was really hard not to be defensive when I felt certain that someone who read only one post was misjudging me.  But, I took a risk and put myself out there. When I stopped to think about it, it really didn't bug me all that much. The bottom line is that I looked for criticism and I got it.  It's always nice and affirming to hear positive things, but not necessary.Ultimately, if I've learned anything in 36 years, it's that I can't please everyone and honestly, I really don't want to.  So one person thinks I suck. Maybe thousands do, and they are completely entitled to their opinion. As long as I don't, then I'm in good shape. Risk taken and I survived.

A special thank you to Randee for challenging me and coaxing me out of my comfort zone!

What risks are you contemplating? 



  1. I'd like to weigh in with my opinion. :)
    I find your writing honest. I find honest-- refreshing.

    I know that I started blogging-- not for an audience, but for me. My goal is to keep blogging as long as it is fun for me-- it is simply an outlet for self-expression.

    So I say, do what you enjoy! I've read some of the "advice for bloggers" out there, but I always end up thinking "but my goal is not to be well-known or to make a business out of it."

    My initial introduction to your blog was reading a post where you speak about the importance of the relationships within a home over the appearance of a house. I thought: "She thinks more deeply than many of the bloggers out there." That kept me coming back.

    I believe your reaction to random critique was right on!!! ;)

    All the best to you!

    1. Thanks so much for your response, Anne. You really made my day. It's very easy for me to get wrapped up in the "growing my blog" arena. It's fun, and there's so much out there that's inspiring, but ultimately, when it becomes stressful, it's not why I started doing this.

      Thanks for your support, Anne. I really appreciate them!

  2. Boy - I think putting yourself thru this was terrifically brave. My mother was probably the most honest person I've ever known, so the idea of actually "asking" for criticism, constructive or otherwise, gives me the shivers. I think that putting your thoughts and words "in print" in any manner is an act of faith that they will be met with respect. Sometimes they inspire, sometimes they entertain...but every word is a gift. Take it, leave it ~ there are no rules as far as I'm concerned. Just gratitude. You certainly have mine. x0x

    1. As you have mine, Mrs. B. I admire and respect you, and your writing, immensely.For years, honestly until I hit my thirties, I think I was terrified of taking risks and so concerned with how others may have perceived me or my words. After having kids and being on crutches for 4 months, I was too tired to care and it was so liberating. Life's way too short. Thanks, as always for the love. xo

  3. Ok...I have been sick so I haven't followed up with you on this and for that I AM SORRY!!! I did not read everyone's critiques because there are just TOO MANY but I went back and read what she had wrote!! I would NOT Take what she said to heart!! I am seriously wondering if she even LOOKED at your blog!! Her complaint was too much Pinterest but when I looked through your blog I found very LITTLE about Pinterest and a WHOLE LOT about you and your family!!
    I had someone complain that I use too many exclamation points and caps and at first it kind of hurt my feelings and then I thought "why?? It is MY blog and MY personality!!" "If you don't like it DON'T read it!!!" My husband said that if she was offended by my exclamation points and all caps, then she would REALLY be annoyed with the REAL ME!!! ;) I am a very DRAMATIC and EXPRESSIVE person!
    So in a nutshell....be yourself!! It is YOUR blog and I think it is FANTASTIC!!! ;)

    1. You are very sweet, Randee. Thank you very much for your encouragement and kind words. Seriously though, I'm fine with it! I asked for it and it was a great lesson. It's always good to push myself out of my comfort zone.

      Hope you're feeling better and thanks again!

  4. I applaud you for putting yourself out there like that! It is never easy to take criticism...especially when it sounds like it was harsh and not necessarily the most constructive. You're right. This is your space to be who you are. It's hard to always keep that first and foremost when it sometimes feels like a competition. I can be guilty of wanting to please others too. But then I try to remeber that I want people who are interested in ME and I in THEM to be dropping by. I want it to be easy and natural. Not people I have to please.

    Does that make ANY sense at all?

    Oh, and THANK YOU so much for your sweet comments about the class I'm taking. I'm trying to put myself out there a bit too. And you helped me feel better about it :)