On Criticism

Posted: August 7, 2015 in graffiti living

How many film critics have made a film?

How many art critics can paint?

How many book reviewers have written books that got published?

Forget critics.

It’s ok to ask for critical feedback, but pick your critics carefully.

Your family and friends may love or loathe you, but rarely enough to be brutally honest.

You want feedback from readers and writers.

You want feedback from your target audience.

You want honest feedback that you can use.

‘Constructive Criticism’ that’s neither constructive or critical is about as much use as [insert witty useless object here].

You need people that want you to succeed.

That want your work to be as good as it possibly can be.

That have the tools to help.

A good reader will give you honest feedback on what worked for them and what didn’t.

A good writer will give you pointers on how to knock your story into shape.

That doesn’t mean it’s ok to savage your work.

Just because you invited someone to the party doesn’t meant it’s ok for them to get drunk and shit on your rug.

  1. RAFrenzy says:

    As for what you may do in the future, I hope you keep writing some place that others like myself can easily read. I enjoy your honesty. Don’t ever lose that!

  2. RAFrenzy says:

    Man, that comment sounded arrogant, but I mean it, and I’m tired of shilly-shallying around about what I think. I will probably be dropping the pseudonym sometime soon as well.

    • Thanks — I’m glad you’re enjoying my self-talk. You’re officially my main (perhaps only) reader. Certainly the one who has responded most this year. I’ve scheduled 100 daily posts in advance (which is the maximum you can on WordPress apparently) and I’m determined to see it through to the end. But then, I think I’m done with this blog. I certainly won’t be blogging every day again next year.

      I agree with your sentiment about critics — the ones that don’t create are less than worthless when they discourage people from trying.

      As for your pseudonyms and whatnot, I don’t see the problem. RAFrenzy is appropriate for an RA fan site and everything else is pretty much about protecting your identity on the internet. At least you don’t hide behind your anonymity like an internet troll and use it for ill.

      I for one have enjoyed knowing you in your various online incarnations 🙂

      • RAFrenzy says:

        Thanks, James. I appreciate that. It has been really fun and rewarding to have a pseudonym. I do not regret anything about it. That’s what it took for me to be inspired to write (mostly elsewhere) and that’s okay.

        I’m just tired of the RA thing. No ill will towards anyone when I say that. I’m just bored with it and feel if I say something humorous at this point it may be either petty or mean. I don’t have any desire to be either and especially not to so many lovely people I’ve met in that whacky fandom.

        Plus, there are so many more things I want to say that don’t really fit on that blog. And no, they’re not political. 😀

  3. RAFrenzy says:

    I’m enjoying your self-talk.

    Maybe you need a post that has multiples endings to: critics are like _____ (assholes ’cause everyone has one). That’s how I think of them.

    Critics are the people you do no want in a foxhole, because they will do nothing but stand around while you’re doing something and tell you how it can’t be done. Then they will do a 180 and tell you when you succeed, “I knew you could do it!”

    Most people are not visionaries, so they can’t relate to those who are. That’s why visionaries have to choose their counselors wisely.

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