I opened my Facebook this morning to find that a good friend of mine had won an award from another blogger for his blog. He definitely deserves the kudos; his blog, “Give me the Good Old Days!” is a lot of fun and has some great visual elements. He is an avid photographer, and his blog reflects his artistic eye and fun views on old hollywood and other topics.
As a requirement of the award, he was asked to pick some other bloggers that he thought were worth reading. I clicked Louie’s link to offer my congratulations. I noticed he had tagged me, but I was having a particularly dense day, so I was rather surprised to find that he had picked my blog as one of those that were worth a look.
After grinning like a fool, I started to realize that if he recommended my blog, he must have been reading it. It may seem odd to you, dear reader, that I would blanche at the assumption. There is a reason that I am a column writer and blogger and not a stage actor; I work best when I can’t feel the eyes of others upon me. Not that I don’t appreciate you all; I can honestly say that the reason I haven’t stopped writing is because I know, abstractly, that some of you enjoy this column very much, and have told me so. But for some reason, seeing my name, essentially in lights, with its accompanying link, out there in blogland…well, it made me break out in a bit of a cold sweat.
In the period immediately following my progression from happy-for-you to sheepish grin to omigosh, a few funny things happened. First off, I got over it. The freak-out passed, as it always does, and I started to feel really good. Louie, a person that I admire very much, had picked my blog as one that he liked. And maybe, just maybe, others would click on it and like it too.
There is something about praise from others, especially those that you respect, that makes you feel like you can, and should, meet and exceed the expectations of your praiser. I could feel my creative brain sitting up a little straighter, mentally sharpening my pencils and clearing my cognitive desk. Anything worth doing is worth doing well, I reminded myself–why wouldn’t I want to do the best I can, whether people are reading or not? I’d better get started!
Many of us are unknowingly respected and revered by others, and it opens for us the rare opportunity to make someone else feel good and rise to the occasion when we can pay some of that respect and esteem back (or forward!). If you are in the position to praise others, don’t keep it to yourself. And Louie, if you’re reading, feel free to have a chuckle on my behalf.