Thursday, May 12, 2022

My favourite cake recipe and how I deal with criticism

Hello chic friends!
On Sunday we had afternoon tea at my Aunt's for mother's day and I made my favourite cake. I got the recipe here.

I make mine with butter because I'm not vegan, and I have probably made this cake at least half a dozen times. I have used, on different occasions rhubarb, feijoas, and granny smith apples. All are delicious.

And I like to serve it with whipped cream :)

If you try it, let me know what you think!

Hope you had a lovely mothers day too.

(Look how funny Chloe dog's face is :) No one could ever accuse her of being photogenic!)
Mum told me what a nightmare I was in this photo session. I don't think she got a good, non-fidgety photo out of the lot! In fact I know this because she literally commented "Wasn't a usable photo among them". Hehe, sorry Ma!

And I was probably the one who tore the proof sheet afterwards too...

Good times!

I was recently asked how, as an author, do I deal with people's criticism of my work, and not take it personally or allow it to disable me?

I thought this was such a fantastic question, and it could apply to many different areas of our life too. None of us are immune to the sting of criticism!

So today I will answer from my point of view as an author.

It took a lot of guts to release my first book. It sat for years in a drawer, partially written, and I'd visit it every so often 'just to see'. I couldn't keep away from it! I'd re-read it and see that it wasn't so bad, write a bit more, become beset with self-doubt and put it back.

Then one day I thought 'Stuff it', I'm finishing the book and putting it out. And I did. I am telling you this to show that even the threat of criticism can hold us back from doing something we've always wanted to do.

And then when you do it... nothing much happens. Most of my reviews were lovely and readers were happy with what I had written.

This is what I keep in mind when I see a bad review. I also remember that I didn't intentionally set out to make someone upset with what I wrote. I do my best to write clearly and with as few errors as possible. I spend a lot of time after finishing writing a book sifting through it over and over to make it as good as I possibly can.

But even so, there are still people who won't like my work. They think I'm not living in the real world, I must have things easy to be flitting around with all this airhead prettiness that I surround myself with. My favourite two-star review on Goodreads called me 'delusional'. I couldn't love that review more, because I am!

I don't want to live in the real world. Well I do, in a practical sense, but I want to make it better, more fun. And for the people who want that too, I'm magic. But not everyone is the same. I think that's an important thing to remember about criticism.

Yes I do read all my reviews. I love the good ones, and in the bad ones I can learn something, either to improve my writing, or simply that that person is not my reader.

The main thing is to be happy in yourself. If you are true to you, the sting of criticism is far less.
Wishing you a lovely rest of your week and a fun weekend!

xx Fiona


  1. Hi Fiona, I like this post, and I enjoy your books. I read that 2 star comment on Goodreads and thought it was really funny. I laughed so much. Life is what you make it. There's nothing wrong with having a dream or a vision for your life, it makes life fun and colourful. Sometimes life is hard. I have a serious illness, and most people don't realise it. I like to pretend I don't have it, I live a life of faith, I try to dress up when I go to hospital, and act like I'm healthy and industrious. And because I do this I enjoy my life. If I wanted to be realistic, I would mope around at the thought that I've lost my career and have a disease that is incurable and requires constant treatment maintenance. Instead I choose to make the most of it and I've had a blast along the way. Your courage about criticism is inspiring. Just so you know, I'm a reader from Sydney Australia.

    1. I couldn't love your comment more, what an inspiration you are. Thank you :) xx

    2. What an inspiring comment. Thank you!

  2. Can’t wait to try the cake! I love your take on dealing with criticism. That’s such a good point, that if they are critical they aren’t your reader anyway. You learn from it or you let it go. I like that because the problem really is with them not you. It’s like they kind of missed the whole point of your books! I like living in a world I created and not letting the ugliness of the outside world in. I learned through you that I don’t have to let it in.

    1. I don't consider that they missed the point of my books, it's just that they receive their information in a way that I am not able to give them. We are all different in what inspires us :)

      So happy to hear that you are creating your own beautiful world for yourself, that's lovely.

  3. Love the "fidgety" photos, I think there are a couple of lovely ones and I think the one with your tongue out is priceless.
    Isn't odd though how we revisit critical comments and often forget the good ones? I find negative comments come to mind without my bidding and usually just when I don't want them. However one day when I was really anxious about visiting the customer for what I knew would be a real "carpeting" I suddenly realised that they could not do anything to me other than tell me off verbally. They could not physically hurt me, take my job away or get me in any other trouble. I just had to sit and take it then forget it, and you know what? Even though I remember the event I can't remember what was said but I do know they were actually pretty reasonable given the mess we had made of the order! So again the criticism is not as bad as we often expect it to be.


Merci for your comment. Wishing you a chic day!

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