One of the most difficult things to do as a teacher, reviewer, friend, or critic is to provide meaningful and helpful criticism. When you offer suggestions or input into another person’s work, if you don’t like it or think it needs perfecting, you have a right to that opinion. However, there is a way to make remarks so that they do not become hurtful to someone. Society today—in the throes of social media—is way too quick in this world to judge someone harshly and say, “it stinks” or “it just doesn’t work” or “it’s not good enough.” In this season of love and charity, being kind to others does matter.
To understand my position on this, all you have to do is go on Goodreads or Amazon and read the reviews people post of other people’s work. Some are brutal an uncalled for. In fact, just earlier I was reading comments on a weatherman’s Facebook page, and people are downright brutal. Do these self-imposed “critics” not understand that people slaved away working on some of those projects? What makes them credible to write such commentary? Are they experts in the field? Do they know it took mustered-up years of hard work and courage to put something out for public consumption?
Knowing there are critics out there doesn’t deter me; and it shouldn’t deter you either. You can’t be afraid. It’s your story, your project, or your art. It’s your blood, sweat, and tears, and guess what?
Only one person has to love it, and that person is YOU (okay, and maybe your mother).
If you’ve been harshly criticized by others, just remember that feeling when someone asks you to review something for him.
Remember to be kind.
Your words and criticism can impact a lot of dreams with one comment.