Even the most thick-skinned person out there has been effected by someone's negative criticism, although they may not admit it. We've all been there, and it hurts.
There is a good type of criticism too. Sometimes it's harder to come by and we don't recognize it for what it is. But it is out there. And that's a good thing.
How can any type of criticism be good?
When it's given with love. When it helps us become a better person. When it makes us want to improve.
As a writer, I subject myself to criticism whenever I let someone read my work. Take this last weekend, for example. I signed up for the Boot Camp at the LDStorymakers conference. I sat at a table with three other writers, and our instructor, Josi Kilpack. We each took turns reading our story, followed by receiving feedback from each other.
Without going into it with an open mind, it would have been brutal. Well, it was a little brutal anyway, but in a good way.
I can't tell you how much I learned during those few hours. I have such a better grasp on what I should be doing. I received advice for how to improve my writing. I gave advice for the same.
If I had gone into it thinking my story was perfect, and not open to new ideas, I would have been sorely disappointed.
We all have room for improvement. Not just in writing, but in every aspect of our lives. Having an open mind, and being willing to listen - really listen - will make the difference between growth and stagnancy.
I don't want to be stuck at the level I'm now on, in writing or life in general. I don't think I'm a terrible writer, but I know I have SO MUCH to learn. There are so many ways I can improve.
The next time feel like someone is being too hard on you, too critical, take a step back and think about it. Maybe they really are just being rude. But maybe they are trying to help you become better.
Here's my group from Boot Camp. They were amazing.
Sadie was also in our group, but not here for the picture.
Thanks for all the help Ladies!