Critics and Creators

This piece of wisdom popped into my head the other day, "Creators don't write for critics. Critics don't write for creators." I posted it on my Facebook page and got a few comments. The more I thought about it the more I realized the truth and importance of that statement.


My Aunt Karen made a comment about it being true. Since I had been thinking about it I felt like articulating a bit more, so I did.

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Jeff - I was just thinking about how when I write articles about books or movies I don't intend those for the creator at all. I intend them as part of a discussion to learn from for people that either want to appreciate and have a deeper understanding of the work, or for people that want to learn from the work so that they can create their own things. When I write something I don't think about any critics at all. I think about the reader at times, but as the person experiencing the work, not commentating on it. Creators and critics are usually seen as having some sort of dialogue, but really they aren't talking to each other at all.

Karen - Yes, I never thought of it before I read your post, but you're right, they're not in any way intended for each other.
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Both the creation and the critique are intended for a third party. This adds a completely different dimension. It's a lot like making comments on Facebook. You're having a conversation, but you're not. It's more like having a conversation by shouting across a crowded room to each other. In that situation the focus often becomes looking the best or winning the conversation, rather than having a conversation.

That's at least part of why these discussions are so aggressive and seem to yield very little that is useful. It's better to realize that you're not in a dialogue. Mike Rowe from the tv show "Dirty Jobs" is the best that I know of at handling trolls, attackers, and haters. His skill with words helps, but also his focus on addressing the unconverted. There are certain people that will hold their position no matter what. Then there are others that are open to new ideas. Those are the people you're talking to.

Whether you are a creator or a critic, or both, this is a good thing to keep in mind.

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You can find more of what I'm doing at http://www.JeffreyAlexanderMartin.com

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