I’m an author, a writer. This is my chosen craft which I hold near and dear to my heart. All of us possess our own special craft. For some, this craft is discovered early on. For others, it takes years of practice and fine-tuning. It may not be immediately apparent but your craft is in there, somewhere.
Not everyone will understand your craft. Not everyone will appreciate it. Then again, if you yourself are not a gardener how would you even begin to comprehend the feel of moist dirt in between your fingers as you tenderly plant seedlings. Unless you are a photographer, you won’t know what it’s like to perfectly capture a seagull preparing for flight by the ocean’s edge through your camera lens.
Recently, after finishing a new story, I’ve excitedly reached out to some friends and family to garner their feedback. Some were highly enthused while others indifferent or not simply interested. The latter is a true blow to the spirit but not everyone is going to embrace or celebrate your endeavors and craft.
I’ve self-published 6 books to date. One would that that by now I am an expert in my craft, but I still have a long way to go and a whole lot more to learn. If a craft were perfected, then what would be the point of continuing it? There’s always a way to do something better and continuous learning and feedback is key.
Not long ago I submitted one of my children’s book to a contest. Something that I was highly impressed with was that, after the contest, if a judge provided feedback it was sent to entrant. Here’s what I received:
“Overall, I didn’t find that the story was very thought-provoking or moving but showed promise and could be altered a bit to make it have a bit more of a reason for being”.
I read that line several times and all I could think of was hmmm. The story in question is about a little cat who loves playing baseball, geared towards readers ages 3 to 6. I didn’t realize little, little children preferred thought provoking over just cute. But, this is just one person’s opinion.
A blow to the ego? Absolutely! It’s hard not to let one person’s reaction or opinion get to us, but that’s easier said than done. Back to the gardener, if their roses didn’t bloom someone would critique that they didn’t plant enough seeds. With the photographer, a photo of a bird actually in flight might be more appealing than one getting ready to take off.
In conclusion, keep doing what you’re doing and working on your craft, whatever that may be. Accept feedback with an open heart and ears. Take some things with a grain of salt. Don’t ever stop learning. Don’t ever lose your passion for your craft, whatever it may be. It’s what makes you, you.