On Facing Criticism

In the midst of pounding out some meaningful work recently, I’ve come across criticism of various sorts.

The following excerpt from this Reddit post has been helpful. (I’m sharing it here because I’m not sure everyone who reads this website also reads Reddit)

Author Dan Brown on Criticism

The question was asked to Dan Brown,

“Your work receives a lot of criticism from the world of literary “experts,” and yet is incredibly well-received in the marketplace. Ignoring both your critics and your financial success, what has been the most rewarding aspect of your career as a writer?”

His response:

“People for whom creativity is a profession have little choice but to take their critics lightly. The alternative is to care deeply what people think… and, in doing so, lose all spontaneity and creativity. As crazy as this may sound, I would much prefer to write a book that sparks passionate reaction (even a negative one) than to write a book that evokes apathy or indifference. Yes, I wish everyone loved the books I write, but that’s not how it works for me… or any author, for that matter. When you’re a creative person—whether a writer, a painter, or a composer—all you have to guide the process is your own taste. You create the novel/painting/symphony that you yourself like, and then you pray like hell that someone shares your taste. Those who do are fans…and those who don’t are your critics. As for the aspect of success that is most rewarding to me…it is the luxury of engaging in the creative process every day as a job. I learned long ago that if I’m not actively creating something, I’m not happy.”

Here’s the link again if you want to contribute to his discussion.

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