If You Don't Want Criticism, Don't Be A WriterSubmitted by Quartermain at 2012-06-07 18:18:41 EDT
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As I've said before, 100 characters is enough for a bumper sticker, but not a nuanced argument. Plus, I'm narcissistic enough to want my name attached to my opinions.
When I found Ubersite back in 2001-2002 or so, I was new to the Internet in general and discussion forums in specific. I read it for about a week or so, and then decided to try my hand at posting.
And it was terrible. And I got told that. Repeatedly, in a number of ways.
And they were right. There are reasons I've not republished a lot of those first posts, and 99% of them have to do with the quality. I didn't tuck my tail between my legs and run away though. I stuck it out, and I got better. As far as the mechanics of writing go, at least. Personality wise I'm still kind of an asshole. If anything, the intervening years have only made that worse.
It wasn't just me that did that, either. There were all kinds of people who came along, posted something, got treated like Ned Beatty in 'Deliverance' and still stuck around. They dealt with it in various positive and negative way, but they still stuck around.
Granted, there is a difference between 'Die in a fire' and 'Your work is terrible to the point where I wonder if you typed it with your elbows and here's why.' But if you post your work on the Internet, especially on a discussion forum, you should expect the former and pay it as little mind as it took effort to type. The latter, though, you should heed, even if it does scrape you raw.
Because your first efforts are going to be terrible. Like I said earlier, there is a reason Michelangelo was contracted to paint the Sistine Chapel at the height of his career and not the beginning.
Criticism is a good thing, because it drives you to be better, even if it's in a Dr. Frankenstein "I'll show them, I'll show them ALL!' kind of way.