Criticism is supposed to be beneficial, it’s supposed to help you grow, but sometimes it’s just a knife attack, plain and simple. Some of the worst offenders are disguised as friends, sometimes they are relatives. They claim to be helping you – smile, smile (stab, stab).
How can you tell? How can you tell if a critic is being honest or being spiteful? How can you tell if they care about your progress or have a hidden agenda?
There are ways to tell, but first you have to stop yourself from responding automatically.
Writers are sensitive beings. For the most part, we are introverts. We put our souls onto paper, we pour our hearts into words… and then, when we think it’s good enough, when we’ve fought down our natural shyness and conquered our inner fear of being found wanting, we show the world. The whole point of our existence is to share those precious words, we are driven to do it.
But one voice of criticism and we’re straight back to looking within, searching out our inner ‘failure’, blaming ourselves – and never seeing what’s really there. We cringe, we duck for cover, we weep into our pillow or get drunk or leap off a bridge.
So, what I’m saying is, don’t do any of those things. Stop. Think. Is there something else going on here when that ‘friend’ claims to have your best interest at heart – smile, smile (stab, stab)?