Beware of flattery, it’s probably manipulation

Hi Reel Girl fans,

You haven’t heard from me for a while. That’s because when I went back and read the draft of my middle grade fantasy-adventure novel, I realized I’ve become a much better writer. The good news is I’m a better writer! The bad news is I’ve had to rewrite the beginning of the book. While I’ve written for my whole life, I’ve never done this genre before, and I’ve gotten pretty good at pacing. While my earlier draft was bloated, so far, I’ve shaved 50 pages off of Part One.

Whatever happens with this book, writing it has changed my life. I’ve learned so much. Now, I understand optimism is essential to creating art for me. While this lesson contradicts the stereotype of the suffering artist, I’ve run into plot hole after plot hole, and now I see that with creativity, I can find solutions to my problems. I think this process may also involve what people call “grit” or just plain resilience.

Here’s another big lesson I’ve learned that has rippled into every aspect of my life. Beware of flattery. I’m not talking about being suspicious if someone gives you a compliment, but if someone compliments you repeatedly for specific character traits, how great you are at something and how essential you are in their life, how special, how necessary, how important, how amazing you are, it’s likely you’re not being loved; you’re being used. I’ve learned that this type of flattery keeps you locked in a role that you’re performing for someone else. Flattery such as this is the enemy of growth and growth is essential to making art.

One example of how “flattery” can facilitate confinement is how women are “flattered” for being “beautiful.” We get to be on covers of magazines if we’re “pretty,” but often what’s really happening is our lives are being limited to serve others. We’re being kept small.

To write this novel, I’ve had to risk doing things I didn’t feel I was good at, to fall on my face and get up again. I hope I’m still doing that when I’m an old, old lady.

I can’t wait to share my book with you!



One thought on “Beware of flattery, it’s probably manipulation

  1. As someone who has re-written their un-published novel over 20 or so years I know the struggle! It’s still unpublished because thanks to my perfectionism it’s still not good enough. I have been told an artist never finds their work good enough.

    My favorite kind of ‘compliment’ comes from some websites where I don’t even have a picture of a person, let alone myself as my profile pic and still get called ‘beautiful’ and that I have ‘nice eyes’. Makes me feel really desired. Lol.

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