I spent the day lazing around, with absolutely zero inspiration to write anything at all until I came across a post that was pitting two AU-fic (alternate universe) writers against one another. An for some reason, it didn’t sit right with me because both of the AU-fic writers are a part of the same fandom. As a person who is trying to write an AU-fic herself, I know what a struggle it is to stick to a basic outline and tweak the actual story into a different setting. So, it doesn’t really make sense to see people pitting writers against each other, especially when they’re trying something original, while still sticking to the source.
There’s a lot of discussion over styles of writing, grammatical errors, minor typos and other things that can be overlooked when you consider the fact that these are people who are probably either writing for the very first time or don’t have English as their native tongue. So calling people out and pitting them against each other for trying to develop a skill that writing is, it doesn’t make sense. And it’s just so hateful because how can you ever expect anybody to grow if you try to shoot them down with rude comments after their very first attempt?
This one goes for everybody, regardless of what skill they’re trying to develop: I’m sorry to say this, but unless you’re some kind of a prodigy, your first attempt at anything is going to suck. But that doesn’t mean you have to give up, and much less so when you’ve put in a lot of hard work into whatever it is that you’re trying to do. When I go back and look at some of my earliest sketches and writing, I feel like throwing my head through a wall because I used to be so bad at it.
But the beauty of growth is that even if you’re not good at it initially, with a lot of hard work and practice, you can always improve yourself at whatever you do. Of course, having an aptitude for something counts as well, but if you’re passionate enough about it, you automatically get yourself to improve. There is no competition with everyone else in the same field because there will always be a couple thousand people, at least, who are much better than you are. The competition is and should always be with yourself.
The key is to know that you’re good enough at what you do, but not let that get to your head. You’re always going to look back at your previous works and think about how much more they could have been. But the important thing is to understand that you did your best back then and that you’ve also improved since then. Consider your previous works as milestones leading up to your journey to where you are right now. It doesn’t mean that your previous works ‘sucked’ either; it just means that you’re setting higher standards for yourself and that’s a very healthy practice.
We’re all constantly growing. We’re all trying to learn and do better. So spewing hate on somebody’s very first piece of writing or art isn’t the way you go about it. Unsolicited constructive criticism is still unsolicited advice, and unless you have been specifically asked by the person how they can do better, I suggest that you just appreciate the time and effort they’ve put into their work, and just don’t be a hateful person. It’s really that simple and not at all deep or hard to grasp.
And that’s the problem, isn’t it? We all like to think that we’re critics. But there’s a very invisible line between being a critic and being a jerk, and all of us have probably crossed that line at some point in time. I’m not saying that being rude about it was the right thing to do, but maybe it’s time to be more considerate, don’t you think?
TL;DR: think about somebody passing a rude comment about something that you put a lot of time and effort into. Yeah, not so nice, is it? Exactly. So, just appreciate people for their efforts and give them room to grow, maybe? Not a hard concept at all, right?
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