Thursday, May 20, 2010

All the World's a Stage

...and everyone in it, a critic.

The "Let's Talk" Blogfest was fun. I'm glad I caught it in time to participate. I was able to go over to the blogfest and read a lot of the entries and I must say, there are a lot of great up and coming authors.

The most interesting part of the contest, for me, was reading the criticisms left on each entry. Some of the criticism was quite useful, even in my own entry, and I am thankful for that. Some of those criticisms however, do I say this...darts. That's the only way I can explain them.

It's important to be able to learn from others in your craft. Before I decided to expand my journal entries into books, I was a theater geek. Theater kids spend a lot of time watching each other perform. While we watch others (wishing we were the ones up there performing) we are actually honing many types of skills, including that of the critic.

It's so hard to watch from the sidelines when we know that we are capable, or have the talent, or are sitting on complete manuscripts. In theater, sitting and watching is a test of patience.

In writing, there is a lot of sitting and waiting and now with the world of blogging we get to sit, wait, and watch others succeed. But we are never really sitting on the sidelines because we can sit down and pound out another idea whenever we want. We don't have to wait for an audition to test out our skills, we don't have to audition at all if we don't want to, and we don't have to wait for a chance to be creative. We can close our browsers, not put out a query today, and just write. It's beautiful.

But we are entertainers, which means we desire an audience, so we put ourselves out there on a constant basis. And sometimes, what we get in return, is harsh and jarring criticism.

It's so easy to find the flaws in others so we don't have to focus on our own flaws. But thank God for the critics. They might not always have the best of intentions and they might not be experts in the field of criticism (or in their own craft) but they are there (for free most of the time) to make the rest of us better artists (or people; critics are not just prone to the entertainment industry, they lurk around every corner).

Writing, singing, theater arts, painting...all of these are part of the entertainment industry. Therefore those of us in it are cut from the same cloth, so to speak.

We seek to entertain. In doing so, we have found a way to be comfortable with our underlying nakedness. This underlying nakedness can be cold and lonely, therefore at times I feel the need to wrap myself up in shrouds of insecurity (probably the same cloth the storks sent me down in).

It's okay for entertainers to retreat to our shrouds of insecurity from time to time, so long as we know just when to disrobe.

Those of you who got some harsh criticism during the blogfest, I thank you for bearing it all and I hope that you've disrobed by now.


  1. Well said! People are often to quick to critique when they are feeling particularly vulnerable themselves. It's too bad that some feel that they only way to feel good about their own work is to put down the work of others. This is true in every aspect of life!

  2. (doh-- I think my last comment got lost before it posted!)
    Agreed. It is inappropriate to be snarky when people are freely sharing. If someone is brave or passionate enough to create something, respect and encouragement with constructive advice are the way to go. Being rude hurts the victim and the perp (bad karma).
    You are a sensitive and creative soul--thanks for sharing. (=