I wasn’t sure if I should publish this article. I wrote it about two weeks ago and have literally been re-editing, sitting on it, and trying to work up the courage to just download and press the submit button. But, I believe it has a very important message, and for the very reasons outlined in this article, I have decided to publish it.
I have written over a thousand freelance articles during the past two years. These articles have ranged in subject matter from poetry to health to motivational and inspirational in nature. They have come from my heart and with time, I’d like to think that the quality and content has improved and only gotten better.
Within this time, the vast majority of comments I have received (especially from Triond members) have been supportive, uplifting and a godsend truly beyond what words of gratitude could ever fully express. But, on the rarest of occasions I do happen to receive some not so pleasant comments.
I know many new and seasoned writers have experienced similar unwelcome comments and I write this article mainly for them; as support and a reminder that this world would not be as limitlessly beautiful if these unpleasant, momentary nuisances deterred them from pursuing their writing dreams. I write this to say to my beloved, fellow writers, please keep writing; hold fast to your dreams – the world needs the endless pure light that shines brilliantly from your heart illuminating even the darkest night that attempts to extinguish it.
So, onward we go:
When you take the time to sit back and reflect, you begin to see things with greater clarity. You are able to suddenly realize the toughest of critics are merely trying to frighten and make you question the true intention of your work – and I implore you all, do not let them. As artists, creators and inventors of new visions and ideas, you are leading the world toward greater things, away from boredom, away from a static existence, and, ironically, closer toward the fulfillment of their dreams. The fear and emotional upset critics are placing on you is actually a reflection of what holds them back from pursuing the beautiful passion found within every heart when the spirit is calm and peace allows it to flow naturally.
Trust with everything in your heart that despite human err or unkind critique, the good, uplifting message in your heart will always transcend any potential obstacle.
I’m a voracious reader. I enjoy delving into new concepts and ideas that help me reach all my dreams and goals. Many of the books I read explain that you must focus on the best things in life, people who only support your dreams, and positive energy, etc. What you think about most, manifests in your life and reality. If you focus on the positive, more will develop in your life; if you focus on the negative, logically, the opposite is true as well.
Said another way, everything is important, from what you listen to, to whom you surround yourself with, to what you decide to eat during the day.
Now, metaphorically, take a moment to reflect upon the comparison below:
Most people have encountered an uncomfortable food situation like the following: Someone you know tells you that you should eat something they made. The food item is fried, unhealthy and upon offering it to you, they explain that it would hurt their feelings if you do not eat it. This does not mean that you have to eat it. If it is not good for you, if it will knock you off your healthy lifestyle goals, and if it will make you feel guilty in the process, there is absolutely all the logic in the world to not only eliminate that influence, but to block it from being able to enter your world at all.
You have a duty and right to protect yourself from any person who offers you something that is not good for your health! Yes, this is contrary to much that our society supports. Be polite; do not hurt another person’s feelings, etc. However, I’m a big believer in “out of the box” thinking. Furthermore, based off statistics, about 85% of the population is overweight. Are you going to listen to the people who remain overweight or your own intuition, the voice from your spirit that loves you the most?
If a reader does not like your work, that’s completely fine; to each their own. This is what makes life interesting, if we all liked the same things, our world would be a very different place. But, if you do not like the comment, if it makes you feel bad, deleting comments is perfectly fine, logical and success reinforcing.
Constructive means it helps build, not destroy or leave you feeling deflated, guilty or hurt in the process. When you build something, like a house for example, you might constructively say to the architect: “You know that window would be better over here where the sun rises because it will help keep the heating bills down.” This comment does not discount the architect’s original idea it simply suggests a new idea (building off yours) that could greatly improve your life!
When reader’s leave comments like this, then you have the decision to either “move the window” or keep it where you originally placed it because maybe you liked the window where it was. Maybe it was an artistic, sentimental, or just your own personal prerogative reason. You see, this is the power and freedom of art and creating. It is a reflection of the heart and no two hearts are or will ever be the same. When we are able to universally realize this, we can then accept and develop a greater appreciation for the fact that there truly is no right or wrong way to express the heart (except of course, if it is with the purposeful intent to harm another person, which is not art).
True artists understand that their work is meant to teach and inspire others about how infinitely precious life is and in turn each and every person. Again, your purpose is to lift others up and show them that they too can reach their dreams. You cannot do this if they are able to successfully pull you down to their level.
In the end, no matter how much we try to interpret another’s art, we will never fully know what the artist’s vision was. Again, the greatest purpose of art is to help us understand our own hearts and how we can find common ties that link us all together universally. The greatest lesson we learn in the process is that everything we see in our world is actually a reflection of who we are. You can only see in others what you see in yourself. So, ironically, the critics are actually revealing their flaws, insecurities, etc to you. Given that fact, you can either focus on them or just let them fade softly away like you do worries and instead let confidence and strength guide your path to success.
So, do yourself a favor, delete comments if they make you feel bad in any way. It’s like opting for an “apple a day” over food that’s not good for you. It does a writer good.
You have the power to make all your decisions; choose the very best ones for you and the betterment of mankind.
Remember writing takes exceptional courage. When you write from the heart, it is an exhilarating and sometimes terrifying feeling. You are basically saying to the world, this is me take it or leave it. It is also widely known that public speaking is one of the greatest fears in society, sometimes rated higher than death. Writing is a form of public speaking. And, in the end, this is why I decided to publish this article. It is my way of standing up for my fellow writers and me. Never let anyone frighten you and make you think your dreams are unattainable. Never!
Joie Schmidt © Copyright 2008 All Rights Reserved.
Dreams of the Heart – volume II is available:
———> Stay tuned . . . vol. II will soon be available on iTunes, iPod, iPhone, iPad and iBooks!
(*In memoriam of the tragedy in Japan all proceeds from – volume I – sales will go to the relief efforts until 3/11/12)
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