BWW Blog: Everyone's a Critic β Listen to Yourself
This past weekend, I sat down and watched the Oscars. As I championed on some of my favorite films and those creative minds behind them, I reflected on those who were perhaps snubbed or didn't win in certain categories and it made me think about my own career and work as a creative individual. When you produce something which you love and pour your soul into, whether that be a story, a performance in a show, your photography, a music video, or even a dish you prepare, you never want to hear negative things about it. Hearing criticism on something you spent so much time and energy on that isn't what you expected can really hurt, and trust me, I've been there many times as a writer, especially in my screenwriting and playwriting classes. However, don't let it ruin your mindset on what you want to do and put out into the world. Just because one person doesn't like something you create, it doesn't mean someone else won't like it. It also doesn't mean that your work isn't good or doesn't matter.
Critiques are great. They can help you delve deeper into perfecting something you didn't see the first time and realize would make it better as a whole. They can also show you the certain viewpoints people have of different mediums. Critiques can also be a hindrance at times, which might have you scratching your head and wondering why.
In any field, especially a creative one, there comes a point where you have to just stand up for your work and be proud of it. There will always be people who don't like or quite understand what you're doing and that's perfectly fine, but don't let them keep you from putting it out there. Your craft deserves to be seen and heard. If everyone gave up on their ideas because people didn't get what they were about we wouldn't have most of the films, books, or artwork we have today. One of the most famous examples is J.K. Rowling with the Harry Potter series. She tried to get her first book in the series, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone in the US), published she was rejected by twelve publishers before finding a home for her novel. Can you imagine if she had given up on herself and her work because of those people who didn't understand or thought others wouldn't appreciate this story of hers? We wouldn't have the global domination of the Harry Potter series, which had kids reading more than ever before, created merchandise, films, theme parks, and even a play, and is known all across the planet as one of the biggest and best franchise ever.
Now, not everyone can be JK Rowling, sadly. But what I'm trying to drive home here is: don't give up on your ideas and your passions. You could have something so close and personal torn apart by critics and told you'll never work in the industry you want to, but you have to have respect and hope for yourself and your work. You have to prove to those who doubted you that you can do what you set out to do and that you have what it takes. Your work and your art have what it takes and don't let anyone take that away from you, especially those who are in school right now. This is your time to shine so don't let anyone take it away from you. Listen to the critiques but when you know in your heart that what you have is something special, you have to listen to yourself first and foremost.