So is everyone’s work great? Does everyone get a medal? Should artists without life experience, those who have not yet figured out how to drag up from within themselves their darkest or brightest experience and lay it out in words not be told their work lacks substance and depth?

However unpopular my opinion, I’m going to go against the majority’s support of the above position and attempt to being some balance to this discussion.

It seems that everyone is getting a little carried away with themselves. Whether we like it or not, the vast majority of what we make in our naive youthful exuberant years is crap, and we should be told so. To be scoulded by older wiser creators is to our advantage, but it seems many here don’t see the value in that. If I read what I wrote 10 years ago I’ll cringe. At the time I thought it was great. But maybe the truth is it was shit, and I might have made faster progress if there was some old git willing to tell me so. I’m better today than I was then, and I’ll likely be better 10 years from now. That’s just how it is, and in the interim, if I put myself out there I’m entitled to receive criticism whether I like it or not. Because if I don’t, I won’t have any guage on my progress. So how do I get better?

But no, let’s applaud everyone, tell everyone they’re great and create a smooth plain where nothing stands out. I’m sorry, but that’s just vacuous and boring.

Abrasive criticism is vital and unavoidable, and kids (and adults), who write crap should be told as much. In that then we have a choice; do we crumble under the weight of that criticism, or do we resolve to get better? No stimulation – no strength, no colour, no contours, no substance.

I’ll close by saying I agree that everyone’s work is valid – 100%. But that doesn’t mean it’s any good. Its obviously not essential, but if we want our work to go further then we have to accept that there are gatekeepers and sometimes we won’t like what they have to say. There is value to us in being blasted for writing crap and everyone here needs to wake up to that.

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Writer on Psychology of Creativity, Human Performance, Behaviour & Expertise | Examining Happiness & Work | Slight Perfectionist | larrygmaguire.com/subscribe

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