A world without constructive criticism, is a world without growth.
I say bring it on. I have never claimed to be a poet, I just happen to find writing poems enjoyable, but I have no problems claiming to be a writer. Notice, I did not say a good writer; I have no idea if I am or not, yet. The only way I do, or will know is if the people who see my writing and have a thought about it – good or bad – let me know what they think.Thank goodness there is no “don’t like” button. Not because I would be hurt by that – I can take it – but mostly people tend to use the ‘like’ button, it’s quick, it’s easy – no reason to explain. Getting a ‘don’t like’ would drive me batty – I would want to know why.
I had a conversation with a friend’s teenage daughter about a book once, I don’t remember what it was. I asked her what she thought about it, and she said,
“I didn’t like it?”
“Oh, really?” I asked, intrigued. “Why?”
“I don’t know, I just didn’t like it,” she said, shrugging her shoulders.
That was the end of the conversation, and the last time I ever asked her opinion about anything.
I just realized that what I said at the beginning, ‘A world without constructive criticism, is a world without growth,’ is not just for the artist who must learn their craft, it is for the person experiencing the world through art. An inability, or worse, an unwillingness to respond personally to experiences, even in a small way – seems a sad way to go through life.
There is criticism which has the effect of assisting and nurturing, and then there is criticism which has the effect of injuring, or shaming, or humiliating. Sometimes I believe the negative effects are unintentional; sometimes I know they are not. To simply criticize without explanation, or justification – helps no one. Let me have the helpful words that can make me grow and improve and be a better artist.