Dealing with Criticism

A few months ago, I sent in this blog post of mine to a magazine, The Teenager Today, for them to consider publishing my story in their magazine. A month later, they wrote back, affirming that they would publish my story in their magazine. Needless to say, I was delighted. This was the second time something written by me would be published (the first time being a report I wrote for a school event published in a local newspaper). I was excited, happy, and motivated to keep writing and keep trying to achieve more of such things.

A few days later, a hard copy of the magazine was delivered to my house, and seeing the actual thing before my eyes evoked inside me a feeling I cannot express. I know most people would think of it as no big deal, and that hundreds of people get published every day, but for me, it was the first step into the world I have always wanted to enter. And of course I was beyond happy.

My mother sent the picture of the write-up to several friends and relatives, and most wrote back to me with positive comments. I now know that the comments were not as much for the story as much they were for me. The story isn;t that good, it’s dramatic, it’s cliche, but yet people were congratulating me for making it to a platform and I was happy. I mean, I was aware that people were not really appreciating the story, but basically appreciating the fact that my story was published.

Amongst all of these people, one family friend (my mother’s friend, actually) wrote to me at night telling me that she loved the story and especially the ending. Next morning though, she wrote back to me, saying that she wasn’t a fan of the ending and that the ending was too dramatic.

To say that I was sad, would be an over-statement, because I myself was aware that the story is dramatic (I was actually even ashamed of showing the story to people) but actually hearing it from another person had an impact.

I stopped writing after that. Stopped writing on my own. I joined the blogging courses on WordPress, and sometimes wrote using the Daily Prompts, but nothing came out of me from free will. Words didn’t flow, and I never could come up with something on my own. I still can’t do it. I can write about my opinions and thoughts, but I cannot make up stories and just let the words flow from me. I just can’t and I need to find a way back.

Today morning, I was reading an interview – can’t remember the name – and the person interviewed said that even after years of work, there are still some people who criticize her. Some people who find fault. And that, my friends, led to an epiphany.

No matter what you do, and how well you do it, there is always going to be someone who finds some fault with it. Does that mean you lose heart and stop doing whatever you do? No. But also, does that mean you ignore the criticism? Absolutely not. You pay heed to it, and work along it’s lines. You take the criticism into consideration and do what you can with it.

I don’t know whether I’ll begin writing any time sooner, but I feel something in me is opening up, and I might as well get back to letting words flow; like it was before.

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