An Honest Compliment

8 Mar

“You are beautiful.”

That sounds like the kind of compliment every woman alive would willingly accept, right?

Wrong.

There are two aspects that differentiate the aforementioned statement from a compliment and a strand of pretty words.

The first, and perhaps most obvious, is the sincerity behind said phrase.  Words are just words; ultimately, they hold no meaning without honesty to support them. 

The second aspect that serves to validate whether or not the sentence will be taken as a compliment is the speaker.

“You are beautiful,” being uttered by a man whose blatant interest and unwelcome advances have only served to annoy the object of his affection will hold little weight with her.  However, if the same exact sentence was spoken by the man she’s pined for since she moved to town, then I can guarantee those three words will resonate with her for the rest of her life.

Compliments are all about context, which is why the email I received last Friday, amidst impending tornadoes and severe storms, will forever live inside of me.

During lunch, I heard from my editor for the first time since I had sent him my manuscript.  To say that his email was encouraging would be an understatement.  My editor wrote the following words:

 I have finished reading your book, but did not attach it yet. I’m going to give it another brief read next week, and here’s why: I really, truly enjoyed your book. And I just am afraid that I may have been too involved in the story at times to have caught everything that I should have.”

Wow.  Nearly a week later, those sentences continue to register shock in my brain.  Of course there were numerous revisions given as well, some of them fairly extensive; however, that compliment was offered by someone who is in the industry and who is paid to be brutally honest.  Those two factors are eclipsed by the fact that my editor is a man, and not at all considered as part of my target audience. 

Humans thrive on honest words of encouragement and willingly accept praise when the context and speaker are right.  Sometimes the biggest compliment a person can receive is the support of those around her.

4:00 pm today marks one week into my 30-day Kickstarter program.  Time is flying past but my confidence is growing with each pledge.  Once again, I would like to thank all of you who continually support my journey and who have enjoyed getting lost in a world I created.

-Jenny

There’s still plenty of time to make a pledge to help get my book in print!  Click on the link below:
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/jennyhickman/the-mirrors-at-barnard-hall-an-epic-love-story

REMEMBER: The next chapter of The Mirrors at Barnard Hall comes out tomorrow!  Click HERE to start from the beginning.

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