Over the last few weeks I have been amazed at the negativity shown by some people toward the achievements of others. It has ranged from the shoulder shrugging ‘so what’ to the downright rude.
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: getting a seed of an idea; developing it until it becomes a basic plan; running said plan through your head until your brain is spinning; using pen or keyboard for hours on end until 500, 1000 or 60,000 words grace your pages?
Oh, and don’t forget the editing. A piece of flash fiction can take several rewrites – multiply the work involved a hundred times and your novel may 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 the end product – that little spark of talent which is needed in the first place.
The comments voiced – Facebook is one outlet - are destructive and say far more about the person making them than the writer under vitriol, or his printed word.
Criticism is beneficial if it is constructive – disparaging remarks are often a sign of jealousy and should be treated with contempt.
Of course, it is not only writers who suffer the slings and arrows.
Any creative person, be it in art, theatre, music, or one of the many other facets of artistic orientation, is open to the insult of having their work condemned by the uninitiated.
It is not to say unversed people cannot have opinions. We must all feel we can like, and therefore equally, dislike, what we read, view or hear. What we do not have the right to do is cause another person to feel worthless about his attainments.
There is an added downside to crass comments aimed at those who have creative natures - the barbs go deeper - as creativity is often accompanied by sensitivity.
The answer, I suppose, is to harden our shells and remember that the ability to produce a piece of writing, bring a character to life on stage, or make a tear fall, just because your voice, and the song you sing, has evoked a memory, are gifts.
At WA we are among those we view as friends but, more importantly, who will respect one another’s precious words and give honest opinions based on moving writing skill forward. It may not be a genre or style of preference but constructive criticism is based on fair assessment of content.
Be proud of being remarkable and when attacked, be ready with these words….‘show me your masterpiece…’