on criticism or artist seeking critiques




I’ve lived with a critical man for thirty nine years. There are times when I think his years of criticizing has done damage to my psyche, has far too often moved me to feel less-than, has chipped away at my self-esteem. And there are other times when I think he’s full of crap, and I can easily and successfully tune out all of his chatter. I suspect a healthy reality lies somewhere in between. The criticism that I am speaking of in this post, however, is criticism as in the critique strain. That’s right, I’m wailing about the book again.

I’m wailing because no one is talking about Claire. There is a little praise (very little), but no criticism, no critiquing, nada. And I don’t mean for this to sound as if I’m feeling less-than, but I’m just not there not, I’m not big enough, good enough to warrant on-line critiques, chatter, interest—and that’s okay—for now. I think about the many movies, plays, television shows, where the actor, producer, chef, or artist of whatever sort, waits up all night for the reviews to come in that will determine his or her fate and all future endeavors. Wow. Wouldn’t it be amazing to be that big an up and comer to garner such interest? I’ll take a bad review, sure beats anonymity.

The birthing analogies with regard to book writing go on forever. Conception, gestation, labor, post-partum, all apply. And now I have a baby in the nursery and ok, she’s not the prettiest baby out there, but you have to say something when you meet her, right? I suspect my friends don’t want to talk about (much less critique) Claire for fear of hurting my feelings, for fear of hurting the friendship. They are dear and devoted friends, who also want to keep their seats at the Christmas Ladies Luncheon table. But I respect their opinions, I deserve and want their comments, I want to be good enough to generate conversation—of any kind. Bring it on! How can one possibly get better if they can’t see or understand the holes in their performance? There are quite a few articles out there on how to handle negative criticism, especially as it applies to your craft. But I haven’t found anything as of yet that will help the small potato deal with no criticism, with his or her amateur status, with not getting noticed. Carry on, fledgling artists, hone your craft on your instincts until someone helps you out. And critique me, lovely readers. I can handle it, really, I’ve had lots of practice.


photo credit: popsugar.om