I don’t have a favorite blogger let alone spend enough time reading one to grasp an individuals style. I have an inkling but it just doesn’t constitute any form of competency.
A friend reminded me that your most critical critic is ourselves. This is so very true and slightly heartbreaking. In a way, it serves a great purpose by inspiring the individual to reach higher and exert even more creative energy and artistic vision. On the other hand, it may cause the artist to allow a great piece of work to go unnoticed. No matter how many people may tell them how wonderful it is, nothing is as convincing as the heart. They have to believe it, not you.
What drives me crazy is the flip side of all this. Consider constructive criticism. For some, it’s an excellent tool for them to use in acquiring mostly honest feedback enabling them to polish up their work. For others, they have a much harder time accepting critiques. Their reaction is more of a defensive strategy and justification as to why they did what they did. It’s almost as if they feel like they’re being under attack and they MUST defend their art at all costs or ELSE.
Personally, criticism has been something I’ve struggled with ever since I first acknowledged writing as something I loved. I made sure to keep all my work locked away and hidden from the eyes of others. I couldn’t deal with the idea of having anything I created critiqued or judged. There was always the feeling that I knew better and that they just didn’t understand the work, justifying any negative feedback I received. However, after years of working in private, my mentality shed that fear and I’ve now opened myself up to any and all criticism and I must say, it has been one of the most liberating experiences in life.
It’s important to hear what the audience has to say, for it is them that you write for. Since I’ve taken this new stance I find that my abilities have significantly improved and there’s tons of room for improvement. It’s supplementary knowledge!
I encourage any of you who are wrestling with this very issue to engage in some deep self-reflection and ask yourself how important it is for you to get better. How bad do you want to succeed? Invite the world in to pry at your art, allow them to touch, feel, and hear what you have to say. Allow your expression to be embraced and watch as the horizon expands.