Comment is Free but it’s Scary

Following on from my previous post, some of the down sides of publishing; a post from a few years back…

COMMENT IS FREE BUT IT’S SCARY

Further to my story being published the other day, there are now some comments on the site.  I’ve been told some of them are critical, but I haven’t yet had the courage to look for myself.  I know people can be especially harsh on-line, and it does upset me when I get critical comments, whether or not I feel they are deserved.  The first post I ever put on the Mslexia blog generated a comment that the writing was awful and the piece trivialised a serious topic.  I got a lot of supportive comments following that, but the initial experience was like a blast of cold air.

And this is the problem for all artists.  Whenever you put your work out there, you are inviting comment – and whilst you hope comments will be appreciative and criticism constructive, it often ain’t.  There’s always someone who won’t like what you do, no matter how good you (and others) think it is.  How many of Shakespeare’s contemporaries slagged him off?  Quite a few, I should think, and not only because they were envious.  Of course, as C P Snow pointed out, you’ve asked for it – or some part of your nature has.  You want to be seen and read, you need readers; and in order to get them you have to run the gauntlet of the critics, both paid and unpaid.

Or, as Leonard Cohen puts it:

There’s torture and there’s killing

and there’s all my bad reviews

http://www.leonardcohenfiles.com/popularproblems.html

So if you liked the story please go to the site and post a nice review.  But only if you liked it.  If you didn’t tell me why – but be kind!

http://www.leonardcohenfiles.com/popularproblems.html

Kirk out

Sarada Gray

Further to my story being published the other day, there are now some comments on the site.  I’ve been told some of them are critical, but I haven’t yet had the courage to look for myself.  I know people can be especially harsh on-line, and it does upset me when I get critical comments, whether or not I feel they are deserved.  The first post I ever put on the Mslexia blog generated a comment that the writing was awful and the piece trivialised a serious topic.  I got a lot of supportive comments following that, but the initial experience was like a blast of cold air.

And this is the problem for all artists.  Whenever you put your work out there, you are inviting comment – and whilst you hope comments will be appreciative and criticism constructive, it often ain’t.  There’s always someone who won’t like what you do…

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4 thoughts on “Comment is Free but it’s Scary

  1. I think I understand how you feel, but more with my acting than with my writing; I know if I had a bad review for my book [other than my Canadian uncle telling me it was “too long: could have done with some editing – meh! 😉 ] I would find it very wounding, but that’s eight years behind me now, and I don’t worry about what people think about my book reviews: they’re personal, and that’s that. With the acting, on the other hand, nearly every job could be a crisis of confidence if I let it, but I compensate for that with assiduous preparation; also, I try to remember “you can’t please all the people all the time”……. Cheers, Jon.

  2. Some years back, a blog follower suggested I join Medium, and post stuff on that platform. I duly trotted off and did that, posting mostly general non-fiction pieces at the start. I was completely unprepared for the viceferous assault that happened next. Outright rudeness, followed by nastiness, then direct personal insult. I soon stopped bothering. I apprecaite debate and fair criticism, but dozens of nasty comments and bitter replies to my replies made it completely unworthwhile for me.
    Best wishes, Pete.

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