When Criticism Hits You Where it Hurts Most

I’m no stranger to criticism, negative feedback & even straight up trolling.

It’s something that I understand I’m subjecting myself to by publishing my art to the internet every day — it’s one of the risks of putting yourself out there as a creative.

You will not always be liked & people will sometimes tell you what they think is wrong with your art.

When the art you create is as personal to you as my writing is to me, the judgement & analysis can sometimes feel like your own character is being dissected, as the art feels like an extension of your own being.

I’ve had haters shred my writing on social media.

Once a group of women on Facebook who were rallied around the same cause got ahold of one of the posts on my website & methodically spammed it with comments — tearing my words apart, annihilating my character & even e-mailing me death threats.

Women that I thought were “sisters” to me & had been a part of my communities have created hate groups that centered around me & the work I’m doing.

Needless to say, I’ve cultivated a thick skin when it comes to criticism or feedback that’s less than positive.

Yet none of the experiences above have effected me as much as moments when one person saying just the right criticism, even when delivered relatively kindly, at the right time.

The times when I’ve had the most visceral emotional reaction to criticism, has been when the choice of words used touches on unresolved pain, trauma, or insecurities of mine.

And that’s something we can’t possibly expect to anticipate, because if we’re tired, stressed, feeling vulnerable & we catch just the right words at just the right time, it can unravel us for a moment — no matter how thick our skin has become.

As an artist & creative, I don’t think it matters how long we’ve been sharing our work with the world — we are not always going to be immune to criticism.

I’ve been sharing my writing publicly for 6-7 years now in some format & I don’t expect to ever have navigating criticism mastered — & I’m okay with that.

We are more than the criticisms we receive & may those criticisms never inhibit us from sharing our art.

Posted on October 21, 2017 and filed under Empowerment, Self-Love.