Sunday, May 1, 2011

Creating because YOU like it.

Years ago, on TV I saw a story about an artist who made these strange outdoor sculptures. She was showing the reporter an odd design of twisted pipes outside in a park. Apparently some people didn't like these sculptures and the reporter asked her if this bothered her. She said that it didn't bother her and that she did art because she liked it. She added it is a bonus if others like it. Her whole attitude indicated she just didn't care if some people didn't like her work and I found that attitude admirable.

Around that same time, I had some experiences that showed me just how drastic people's opinions can be about the same piece of work. Some will love a certain story and will hate it. I experienced this in a strange and surprising way. I submitted a short story to a magazine that said they would critique. I was interested in what professionals had to say about my story. I also suspected that some of the feedback would be brutal, but if anything I felt it would be a good experience to toughen myself up. Eventually the letter arrived with a critique from three different people. I was only expecting one critique, so it surprised me a bit.

The first comments left me rather disappointed as the person seemed to hate it. He didn't have all the facts straight about the story and I could tell he just skimmed it. I figure he didn't like it enough to read for detail. Expecting more brutal feedback, I continued to the next person and braced myself. The second person thought it was an okay story, that needed a bit more work. So now, I had no idea what to expect from the last person, but sped ahead to it anyway. The last person loved the story and wanted to see more of my work.

So my tip for today is.......

When it comes to art, you can't please everyone no matter what you do. The important thing is to create because you enjoy it. Every artist has their own uniqueness. Sometimes it clicks with other people, which is the "bonus." Sometimes you will come across others who just don't get your writing for whatever reason. Don't let that discourage you or make you change something about your story to please everyone. If you keep writing enough, you improve your chances of making a connection with someone who can help your writing career. The important thing is too keep the creativity coming and keep working at it.

No comments: