Howdy! Sorry I didn't post on Monday...I worked 30 hours this week, which is something I haven't done since I was seventeen and folding pizza boxes at Domino's. Working at QuikTrip is surprisingly physically demanding. I'm sore in places I didn't know could be sore.
Technically, I'm still in training. I've had four days of training. Day One was smooth sailing. Day Two was a bit more of a hassle; my fellow trainee up and quit after receiving some negative feedback from the trainer. Day Three was my worst day overall; after taking too long to take out the trash (who knew that I'd have a hard time wrestling with 60-pound trash bags on an empty stomach?), I was sure that I was going to get fired for poor performance and wound up in tears. I cry when I'm frustrated. I hate that about me.
My trainer was quite professional about the whole thing, and Day Four was great. I even did better with the trash! But the whole thing kind of opened my eyes to the ways in which constructive criticism affects us.
All of my books have received only positive reviews. I'm glad of that--it means that I've written two good books. But whenever I ask people for reviews, I always tell them to mention things they didn't like about the book. I want to improve my writing, and I know that there are things I'm doing wrong. Maybe my villains are crappy. Maybe my romantic subplot feels unnecessary. Maybe I wax too poetic at times, and my narrative turns unreadable. You know?
But then I get told that I'm not taking the trash out fast enough. And I can't handle it.
I've always been rather hard on myself, and I've always been pretty good at whatever I've felt like doing. Crochet? Boom. I've got an award-winning blanket sitting in a closet somewhere. Writing? Boom. Nothing but four- and five-star reviews. Cooking? Boom. Baked beans from scratch that get compliments from my grandparents.
There are a few things in life I suck at. I can't play sports, I can't bake bread without a machine, and apparently, I can't take the trash out fast enough for QuikTrip. And crying isn't the appropriate response when I'm told I need to improve. I'm an advocate for hard work and dedication, and it's about time I take my own advice.
Yesterday, I worked as hard and as fast as I could. And my hard work was acknowledged. My trainer had no bad words for me--only positive feedback. And it felt good.
Hopefully, the next time I do something badly, I won't cry about it. Hopefully, I'll take a deep breath, maybe eat a snack, and try again. Try harder. And do better.
What's something that you've gotten lots better at? Let me know in the comments below! God bless you, dear readers, and don't forget to Like us on Facebook!
M. J. Piazza is a Jesus-loving, dog-walking country girl who just so happens to write books.