One of the scariest things about putting your art (in whatever form it takes) into the world is the inevitable critics who feel the need to express their distaste for what you are doing. Perhaps the worst part is knowing the bigger something gets, the more criticism it will likely incur.
I believe this fear keeps too many people from sharing their creativity, and even from creating it in some cases. Actually, I know it does because at times, it has kept me from doing so.
What makes it worse is if you are a perfectionist. I was talking to a friend recently, and encouraged him to start a blog or YouTube channel. Since he has experience with editing video I thought the latter was the logical choice, but he argued it would be harder because he is a perfectionist in that area.
In any case, being a perfectionist is great if you are a surgeon, astronaut, or some other profession that leaves little to no margin for error. Some may argue that writing is one of those professions, but in reality, most writers write too quickly to edit themselves. In fact, it is encouraged by writers to avoid proofreading and just write. Once finished, they can go back and reread for context and logical errors, but grammar and spelling mistakes are often fixed by editors because the writer has become too familiar with their own work.
The great thing about blogging is it gives us the ability to publish quickly, without the need for a length review and editing process. Some still critique bloggers who leave those mistakes in their writing, but they are missing the point. What I have learned from successful bloggers is publishing content is their chief concern. They would rather create something new than rehash old material.
That’s not to say there isn’t a place for proofreading and correction. After I finish a first draft, I go back and read through it for obvious errors in context as well as spelling, grammar, and punctuation. But I am mostly concerned with comprehension, at least much more than achieving perfection in technical execution.
I believe ideas can still be communicated effectively with an occasional typo. As humans, we are imperfect by nature. As Alexander Pope wrote, “To err is human.”
Therefore, I choose to publish my thoughts and ideas as imperfect as they are, in an imperfect way, to be read by imperfect people. And I choose to accept whatever criticism may come with that, because I also believe our flaws reveal our true character.
How do you feel when you receive negative feedback?