Thursday, July 9, 2015

Critic’s choice

Would you rather be equally loved and reviled with many readers, or would you rather have a small, core group of supportive readers?

When I first read this prompt I immediately thought, “Small, core group of supportive readers, definitely.” After all, what writer girl wouldn’t covet her own faithful band of cheerleaders, screaming “at a girl” behind every keystroke and published post? No one I can think of.

But then I gave it some thought.

The unappealing part of what’s behind door number one is the presence of haters (literally and figuratively). Most people enjoy praise, but not many people get warm and fuzzy feelings about criticism. Sure, some handle it better than others, but we’d all prefer to just be encouraged, right? When I think I’m the and on it doggonit, it’s like a prick in my balloon for someone to tell me otherwise.

It sucks.

For a minute…

But only a minute…

Because life teaches us that criticism is like the dirty soil from which a beautiful flower blooms. It’s necessary, if only to:

  • Sharpen us and make us grow beautifully OR
  • Teach us the difference between truth and lies, fact and fiction.

You see, although critics have a role to play in this production we call writing, not all criticism is useful. It’s imperative that we learn to eat the fish (constructive criticism) and spit out the bones (everything else). If we allow harsh, ill-intentioned criticism to take up residence in our thoughts, it may undermine our ability to do that thing we know we’re destined to do – WRITE.

So I say bring on the reading masses – complete with a mix of adoring readers and career critics (the good ones, bad ones and ugly ones). I’ll be just fine (and so will you). 😉

P.S. Which one did you choose – the love and hate of many or the unending support of a few?