Credit: Deborah Biggerstaff
Over many years I have been amazed at the negativity shown by some people towards the achievements of others. It has ranged from the shoulder-shrugging ‘so what’ to the downright rude and soul destroying.
On the whole it has involved those who think scripting a story or novel is as easy as pie. What on earth can be difficult about taking the seed of an idea, developing it into a basic plan, running said plan through your head until your brain is spinning, using pen or keyboard for hours on end until 500, 1,000 or 60,000 words grace your pages?
Oh, and don’t forget the editing. A piece of micro or flash fiction can take several rewrites – multiply the work involved a hundred times and your novel just might be at a presentable stage!
Does that sound easy?
What I have written thus far has made no mention of a very important piece of the jigsaw that sets a germ of a notion on the path to an end product – that little, but vital, spark of talent needed in the first place.
Barbed comments are destructive and say far more about the person making them than the writer or his/her words under vitriolic attack. Disparaging remarks are frequently a sign of jealousy and should be treated with contempt.
Criticism is beneficial if it is constructive, proffered with kindness and intended to add a perspective different to that of the author. It may be heeded or not. This is the creator’s prerogative.
Of course it is not only writers who suffer the slings of arrows.
A creative person in art, theatre, music, or any one of the many facets of artistic orientation is open to having their work condemned by the uninitiated but also, at times, by those who should be more in tune with individuality.
This is not to say that unversed people, or otherwise, cannot have opinions. We must all feel we can like and therefore equally dislike what we read, view or hear. What no-one has the right to do is cause another person to feel worthless about his/her attainments.
There is an added downside to crass comments aimed at those who have creative natures – the barbs often go deeper, creativity usually being accompanied by sensitivity.
The answer I suppose is to harden shells and always remember that the ability to produce a piece of writing, bring a character to life on stage, produce laughter, make a tear fall, through words, actions, voice, is a gift. Such flair evokes memories; makes memories.
At PATW we are among those we view as friends but, more importantly, we respect one another’s precious words and give honest opinions based on moving forward natural talent and writing skill. It may not be a genre or style preferred by the reader but constructive criticism is based on fair assessment of content and delivery.
Be proud of being remarkable and when under attack be ready with these words…show me your masterpiece.