Remember the kids in school who were just a little bit different? She wore mismatch socks, baggy dark clothes, and streaked her hair with black and purple dye. He tried out for the soccer team in a school where you weren’t a real man unless you played football. She dared to register for auto shop. Maybe you were that kid. Maybe you are that adult; the adult whose hobbies and career choice spawns eye rolls and sighs from friends and family. Criticism. It is everywhere, and it is so easy to do. Social media and reality TV give us easy access to everyone, and we can easily be criticized or point our own finger of judgment at our mark. But what is criticism, really?
When it comes to art, and especially writing, I believe criticism is the manifestation of fear and jealousy. Its one thing to read a book and give an honest review of the work but it is an entirely different animal when the line crossed into negative opinions about the writer’s style and choices of words, and lifestyle. I’ve seen writers rip apart other writers…
“She gets paid to write full-time? That book sucked!”
“How did a script about tornadoes and sharks ever make it to print? Stupidity.”
“She only writes because her husband has a great job and can pay for her lifestyle.”
“I could write a better book than this!”
We’ve all seen the above, and maybe have been guilty of thinking or saying something similar. But let me challenge you for a minute. Before we criticize, lets look internally. Maybe we are afraid to live our own dreams. Maybe we wish we had the guts to put ourselves out there and take risk like those writers have. Maybe, when we see others living their lives, doing what we want to do, it drives us crazy because we are not living our lives like we want to.
So, “Don’t hate, replicate!” Let’s agree criticize less and praise more. Let’s wish those writers and artist the best and do all that we can to raise our own game, and emulate their successes no matter how big or small.
~ Write On