Creative Mondays #049 – No time for critics.


We’ve talked on here before about Challenging the Naysayers and how Some People Are Not Going To Like What You Create.  Today I wanted to talk about another aspect of people who are critical of your work and that is completely ignoring them and how to ignore them.  There’s a simple way to do that.  Create more.

If you have enough time to be worrying over what people are saying about your art, you have too much free time.  You should be creating, not worrying about what other people thing.

Many years ago, another comedy musician wrote a long diatribe about me and my comedy music on a closed mailing list that I was not a part of.  I was not supposed to see it, but it made its way to me and I was generally shocked to see such vitriol pointed at me.  It berated my talent (or lack thereof), my motives for even creating comedy music and putting out CDs and it was just generally mean.  For weeks, I obsessed over it.  I obsessed over it and plotted my revenge.  At one point I even considered reprinting it, without the name at the bottom as the liner notes in the CD I was working on.  Or, tongue in cheek, using select quotes in promo for the new CD.

One day, I had been going on and on about how mad I was about this letter and a friend told me I had to stop.  He told me to think of actor Tom Hanks.  He said there are people out there who, for whatever reason, hate Tom Hanks.  They don’t like him and they say mean things about him.  He then asked me if I thought Tom Hanks spent one moment thinking about those people and plotting ways to get them back or if Tom Hanks just went on with his life, acting and creating?

When put into that perspective it really made things clear.  I was spending way too much time thinking about this person and what he had said.  I needed to let it go and just get back to creating and that is what I did.  I never even confronted this person about the things he said, I just went on creating my songs.

I will say, that I bet, occasionally, Tom Hanks probably reads a negative thing about himself and DOES feel bad about it.  How can we not feel bad when someone says something negative about us?  The key is to feel bad for a moment and then keep on doing what we are doing.  We can’t let it drag us down where it feeds the negative brain or we spend all our time plotting the perfect revenge.  That is all just time wasted from creating our art.

So, if you have enough time to worry about what the critics are saying, you have too much free time.

Create more.

Do you dwell on what critics or naysayers say?  How do you deal with it?  Let us know in the comments below.  Have a great week!

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2 thoughts on “Creative Mondays #049 – No time for critics.”

  1. Reading another person’s diatribe about you must have been very difficult and it is unfortunate that you had to deal with it. Not unlike “Celebrities read mean tweets” except worse because you knew the people involved personally.

    Whenever we feel badly about ourselves and our situation, it pays to watch a documentary or in some way take a look at people who are much more disadvantaged than we are so we can once again be grateful for what we have. In this same light, if another person disparages your talents, it is helpful to recognize all the things you have achieved and the talents you possess, i.e., you can play several instruments, write music and lyrics, and there are millions of people who only wish they could and truly lots of people who admire and wish they had some of your talent and perseverance (including me 🙂

    I was lucky enough to interview 3 professional casting directors at the Santa Fe Film Festival this weekend (video coming out later this week!) They all agreed that performing artists and actors should not wait around for jobs but should be constantly creating content. Otherwise, how will they find you and know that you can play the bangitar and work with puppets? Keep at it, this is your journey and nobody else’s. It is unique and wonderful, just like you.

    1. Thank you, as always, for your comments Shelley. And you are right, considering all you have is an important thing to remember and one I need to do more often. As for my journey, I am keeping on, keeping on, for sure. It is sometimes difficult when it feels that others are getting a much bigger audience for doing much less, but I can’t not create. It is a part of me and I must do it. Thank you again.

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