You know the drill: on occasion some lovely person might say to you hey, nice hair/shoes/pants/bag/that book you wrote totally blew my mind and you blush profusely while mumbling thank you. Or you might shrug it off OR you might latch onto some other point they made in conversation and ignore the compliment completely.
Because it feels strange, right? This person saying such nice things about you and for you to somehow own what they’re saying seems a bit wrong or like you might be up yourself. The latter is certainly true in Aussie culture with that heavy dose of tall poppy syndrome we’re constantly butting our heads against. Thank you for saying such nice things but I’m no better than anybody else *runs away*
Here’s the thing though: when you’re the one complimenting someone, because you must, because that book they wrote totally blew your mind, if they run away/dismiss/mumble leaving you there with your praise on your shoes…well that doesn’t feel very nice.
When I think of the kind of author I want to be I think about how I want to be generous like Courtney Summers*. Courtney is amazing in her gratitude, responding to praise in a way that’s both validating and humble. You should go find her and say something nice just to see what I mean (and because she’s awesome.)
So I’m working on this whole ‘receiving compliments’ thing** but the simplest thing to do is just say thank you…and try not to mumble it.
*also be generous like Trish Doller, cool like Simmone Howell, arty like Vikki Wakefield and Maggie Stiefvater, wise like Susan Dennard and Nova Ren Suma and just be like so many other fantastic authors but also just be me…and try not to stress out about it.
**and being like Courtney Summers