So anyway, I finished a project. Yay me! And then, for some inexplicable reason I went and read some of the Amazon reviews on some of the other books published by Xist Publishing, the company that will be publishing my children's book. Most of the reviews were positive, or at least constructive (a good, constructive negative review is a useful thing!), but there were a few that just seemed mean-spirited. Obviously, I knew that people wrote mean reviews. Still, reading these was a reminder that not everyone will happily welcome my little projects when they head out into the world. I started to question the wisdom of opening myself up to another source of things that could make me feel crappy. Boo.
Then I remembered the recent Oatmeal cartoon about creating things. His bit at the end about destructive criticism is quite apt. We focus so much on being able to take criticism well and use it to learn and grow, and that is indeed a good thing. But we shouldn't forget that not all criticism can be used in that way. Some of it will just make us want to stop creating things, which is too bad. I may never create something as good as the average Oatmeal comic and I certainly will never create something as wonderful as the Mona Lisa, but I still might create something that has some value, and it would be a shame if I refused to let my creativity out just because some people are mean.
|Cranky Internet Guy|
I can handle the cranky guys on the internet. If they don't like what I create, so what? It is unlikely that they will ever have paid more than a few dollars for whatever it is I made. It is not like I plan to set out to defraud anyone of large sums of money- I will create something and people will pay some small sum for it and they will like it or not. And if it succeeds, great. If it turns out that it sucks and it fails, well that's fine, too. I can try again on something else. I can embrace the suck. Not creating anything at all is worse than creating something that sucks.
And you know what is worse than that? Sitting around hating on the things that other people create.
The Randians have it all wrong. The conflict isn't between the Makers and the Takers. It is between the Makers and the Haters. I know which side I'd rather be on.
(Also, I've resolved to start writing more reviews on Amazon, particularly 3 and 4 star ones. Those are the ones I trust. The 5 star ones always seem suspicious- I know I don't love most things that much. And the 1 star ones are often cranky internet guys. But those 3 and 4 star reviews? I reckon they'll point you to the good stuff.)