Don’t get me wrong, I welcome criticism, but I don’t let it influence me. If I did, I’d never write or create anything again. The truth of accepting myself as a writer, aspiring writer, published author…or whatever the progression one takes along their creative path has nothing to do with criticism…it has to do with improvement.
It’s interesting to me that people have made a living criticizing the efforts of others. Perhaps this stems from an overinflated sense of right and wrong, an overinflated sense of righteousness in some people put forth early in life by the structure of education’s reward vs failure system, and my personal favorite – society’s strange affinity with celebrating and promoting boisterous bad attitudes. To all of those who take joy in tearing people down, here’s my truth for all writers, good, bad, and mediocre – there is no right or wrong in storytelling. Yes, there’s right and wrong grammar and punctuation, and yes, it’s a pet peeve of mine…but that’s not to say I’m perfect either, but I try to put forth my best and I practice constantly. There can also be confusion in a story’s flow, or perhaps people just don’t identify with the characters, and so on, but that’s not to say it’s wrong…maybe it makes sense to the author, maybe it has meaning to the author, and despite opinion of the masses, within constructive criticism lies an opportunity for writers to improve their storytelling abilities.
And therein lies the crux of criticism – improvement. People who constantly put forth the effort to improve will eventually reach a level of accuracy which is deemed appropriate (and admired) and can be labeled “expert.” But often times, society gives those who hold this moniker, dare I say, a little too much liberty, deeming their expert opinion as factual and, worse, influential.
Criticize all you want, but the one thing I ask is that critics make their criticism straight and to the point, this way their targets can remove all the unnecessary words and find some nugget of advice so they may effectively continue on their journey of self improvement.