Take Heed

I was thinking about how creative people in general shoot themselves in the foot without even knowing--emphasis is on the without even knowing part. 

I've seen countless times a writer/artist who can't see their weaknesses. I worry about this sometimes, because it really can happpen to anyone. 

A family member says their work is great. (One of the reasons I haven't really introduced my family on my personal Facebook to all my postings and such, yet.) 

And that's fine, nothing wrong with a supporting family. There are other reasons I haven't merged the personal side of life with my writing side just yet. 

But to get back to my thoughts, what makes taking advice from loved ones bad is when you can't see they may be saying it as someone who loves you and would say that about anything you create. 

That may be more detrimental than they may think. 

And friends can fall into this category, as well. 

Where I grew up, they called it being gassed--basically having air pumped up your rear, so to speak, building an arrogant self-confidence. 

It's good to have  confidence, very good, in fact, and to have a healthy support system. Of course your family should be there for support. But it's important to understand the difference between that and real criticism. And trust me, in this game tough love is worth it's weight in gold. 

But then one continues on to those motivational posts that say not to listen to critics are great, and wonderful, and make you feel real warm inside. They really do give you a bit of a pick-me-up. 

And for the most part they are right, not everything everyone says is nice, nor are they trying to help. 

But there are times when a friend, or anyone really, may give an honest opinion that should be taken into account. It may get passed over, though, and you end up hearing a voice that says, "Oh, please, they don't understand what I'm trying to say." 

That's why it's good to have a group you can trust, even if it's just a few people, to look at your work and let you know if something feels off. They are seeing it from the outside. A good review will tell you how it is and not sugarcoat everything so as not to hurt your feelings. 

That's where the tough skin sayings come into play. You see? 

If they are only saying nice things all the time, I would question that. 

No one is perfect. 

I was standoffish about joining a group, you never know if someone has good intentions, or not. Maybe it's how, or where, I grew up that made me a bit paranoid. But I can tell you, it's like meeting that special someone once you find the right one. 

You just know. But always be wary. 

As you progress and understand things, you can spot when your work isn't up to par. You can see the mistakes others point out. 

You may branch out a bit and get opinions from readers. You don't have to listen to everything, but if more than one person is pointing something specific out, yeah, you might want to take heed. 

I've learned to take everything into account, listen to what everybody says, and then decide what to do. 

For in the end you are the creator of your work and there is no surefire path in this game. 

Be careful. 

Be helpful. 

Don't be close-minded. 

Let me know what you think in the comments section below or on Twitter @WCMarchese.

Hope to see you there. 

WCM

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