Writing is hard enough without people you know or those in your circle of friends and family suggesting that your goal to write and publish a book, or to get your content published in Forbes, Time, Entrepreneur, or some other major publication is NOT going to happen, especially at your age, or it's just a pipedream. We've all had those kinds of negative, toxic comments. I know, I've heard my fair share in the past. Oftentimes, they come from those closest to us such as a significant other, spouse, sibling or best friend. They say things such as "I just don't want to see you get hurt or made fun of". They say they mean well and may even call it constructive criticism. The problem with that is its complete bullshit.
There are two things you need to know about criticisms.
The criticism that is too general or broad only serves to demean or belittle another person's goals, dreams, or ambitions while making oneself feel superior. Giving any merit to that type of criticism from the naysayers and their negativity will only open you up to allowing that poison to consume your thinking and creativity. What will happen then is that when you sit down to write, you'll allow those voices to chirp at you with each word you type? You'll start to second guess your abilities, doubt yourself and what's possible to achieve in your life, and even think that your writing is the worst garbage to ever be put down on paper. DON'T listen to those voices.
The other form of criticism is that which is specific and targeted in detail. It will be genuinely helpful to you. Helpful criticism comes from people who are more experienced in your field or genre who have already been in your shoes and made the same mistakes in the past and learned from them. These are the criticisms that you DO listen to. Not only is it helpful to your career as far as content, marketing, publishing, finding agents, etc., but it can also cut down on a lot of wasted time and streamline your success.
The criticism that comes from the naysayers or doubters are from people who have never done, attempted to do, and probably never dared to dream doing anything remotely close to yours. However, helpful criticism comes from people who have already bloodied their hands, gotten dirt under their fingernails, failed many times, have been rejected and knocked down but fought and stood back up time and time again.
If you have never read or heard the back story on Sylvester Stallone, you may want to check it out. All he ever wanted to do was to become an actor. Rocky, was his FIRST acting role. He also wrote the screenplay. Rocky was Sly Stallone's creation. This is a man who grew up often being criticized and told he wasn't good looking enough, smart enough, talented enough, he was a troublemaker and more. He moved to New York after dropping out of college to pursue his dream of becoming an actor. He was rejected for rolls over and over. He lived on the streets for weeks, and he sold his dog because he couldn't afford to feed him. That's when he wrote Rocky. He was offered money for his script, but he refused it. He wanted to act, so he wouldn't settle for less than being cast as he lead. He didn't listen to the naysayers and doubters. He fought until he got the lead in his own movie. The rest is history. Rocky, as we all know, ended up becoming one of the biggest box office hits of all time, and went on to become a Rocky empire. There is a statue of Rocky in Philadelphia.
So, the next time someone attempts to give you criticism, make sure you know the difference between general and broad criticism, and helpful, experienced critics who have been where you are and done those things that you dream of doing yourself.
I am a writer and also a contributor for Influencing Entrepreneur Magazine. I am, and have been, a small business owner since 2008 striving to help those job seekers who need to amp up their pre-employment documents such as Cover Letters and Resumes, provide interview tips and tricks, interview [...]