"Required reading" for today's smart writer.

"Required reading" for today's smart writer.
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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Don't Shoot the Messenger-5 Take-away Tips From Dancing With the Stars!

Okay, so call me shallow.
The only reason I'm tuned in to T.V. this season on Dancing With the Stars is Maks.
He's a fine work of art. :-)
That and the fact that there isn't much else engaging on Monday nights in my viewing area.

Of course, this is not to say anything disparaging about the other dancers.
I'm sure they're perfectly lovely people.
But, to tell the truth, most I hadn't even heard of until their appearance on this popular show. With the exception of Ricki Lake and Chaz Bono.

Anyhow, I digress a bit here...

Lately, I must admit, I'm a bit perplexed as to comments and controversy surrounding recent episodes. Specifically, the "stars'" reactions to the judges' comments regarding their routines.

As such, I decided to pen this post to share what I've learned from all the hoopla.
Because I firmly believe that writers, (at least good ones) are "performers" too.
Though the method and the venue may be different, there are indeed parallels.
Wouldn't you agree?

With this being said, here are a few take-away tips we can apply to our careers.

1. Criticism comes with the territory.
Whether you're being "judged" by an editor, a Blog reader, or a publisher, you have to be able to deal with scrutiny and feedback. Bottom line.

2. You must be receptive to feedback in order to grow.
In all fairness to Maks, there is a right and a wrong way to provide criticism in order for folks to be able to embrace it and apply it. But trust me when I tell you, it's an "art" that not every one has mastered. Try to find the positive, learn the lesson, then continue to "dance"!

3. There is something to be said for those who have been in the business longer than you have.
Sure, "experts" are people too, and occasionally make mistakes. But many times, they have the objectivity, experience, and credentials to help us mold our careers for maximum results. Listen.

4. Sometimes you're gonna have to be the "bigger person" Charlie Brown. :-)
There's a proper place and time for everything. And sometimes criticism can be unfair and untrue. Just the same, suck it up! "Excellence has its own reward." Are you feelin' me here?

5. Talent is only part of the equation.
I've said this before, but I'll say it again. Popularity matters. People skills matter. Politics matter. Poise matters. Always make sure your ego doesn't overshadow your excellence.

In closing, I should mention that Maks later elaborated on his position, in terms of some of the things he said, and attempted to soften things up a bit.
I certainly hope he's not kicked off soon.
Especially with my sweet tooth for "eye candy". :-)

Your turn. What's your take? Talk to me.

Image Stock Photo


  1. These are such great points, and they apply to, well, most everything in life. I think when we follow through on these things, we will be respected, and in the long run, come out on top.
    Thanks for sharing your pearls of wisdom. I need to be mindful of them everyday. :)

  2. Jennifer Brown BanksOctober 27, 2011 at 12:47 PM

    I'm pretty sure you already are. :-) Thanks, Karen!

  3. All great points, Jennifer. I like number 5. People skills and poise are important. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Jennifer Brown BanksOctober 27, 2011 at 3:59 PM

    Hi Yasmin,

    Glad you liked. :-) Thanks for your feedback and your time.

  5. These are excellent thoughts. I especially like numbers 2,3,and 4. I find these apply to other areas of life as well. There is a person I have to deal with on a fairly regular basis that I have to go out of my way to be 'the bigger person.'

  6. Jennifer Brown BanksOctober 28, 2011 at 5:02 AM


    Good for you on being the B.P., as Dr. Phil would often say, "Every relationship needs a hero". :-)

  7. Writers are sensitive about their work. As such, all of these points are valid. No matter how many years you've been writing, there is always space to grow. And you have to be open to criticism and feedback. Actually, the only way to learn and grow is to learn from both - hurt ego and all.

  8. Jennifer, as fine as Maks is, I’m starting to lean in Tristan’s direction. Yahoo, he is hot! And the accent doesn’t hurt, either. ;-)

    On a more serious note, criticism stings but your advice points to the best path to take in handling it—constructively and with poise. Despite my relatively thick skin, I have some "growing room" in learning not to personalize criticism as much. It's all part of growing in character.

    As for this penchant Maks has for firing back at the judges—Len and Carrie Anne in particular—it does make me root for him a little less. Although I think Hope Solo is one of the stronger dancers this season and Maks is a fantastic dancer, it’s alienating when he jabs at the judges. That ties into your point number 5 about people skills. Maks does make for good TV, though, on a couple of levels!

    Have a great weekend. :-)

  9. Jennifer Brown BanksOctober 29, 2011 at 1:02 PM


    Well stated. Thanks for "chiming in". :-)

  10. Jennifer Brown BanksOctober 29, 2011 at 1:09 PM


    You get no argument here about Tristan! You've got a good eye girl. :-)

    And don't get me wrong, I like a fire-ry guy as much as the next gal, but I think that Maks came off a little too strong--arrogant even.

    Judges judge! That's what they do.

    But we'll just have to stay tuned to see how things play out. At this juncture, I really can't say I have a "favorite".

    Have a Happy Halloween.
    B/T/W/ Loved your article @ Feelgooder.com

  11. Thank you for the shout out, Jennifer. You've made my day! Enjoy your Sunday. :-)