I remember when I was younger and first writing stories I was afraid of letting people read them because I was worried they wouldn't like what I wrote. That is a realistic sentiment, as chances are no matter what you create some people aren't going to like it. However, it is also a crippling mindset. If you want to create and keep it to yourself, fine, but don't expect to make a living at it. If you want your art or writing to have meaning to someone else, you need to expose it, and exposing it means some people will like what they see and others won't.
I think I mentioned this in an earlier post, but I have read many articles by editors who say they have a problem with authors getting upset when they criticize their stories. Editors are usually trying to help. They want to sell what you have written. That's how they make money. I don't want to say their advice is necessarily good advice, or that you should take it, but you need to take criticism in a positive way. Even if you don't agree with it, at least you understand how some people are going to respond to it. And if many people keep telling you the same thing, maybe you have a problem.
When I was in university I took a creative writing class for fun. We would share our writing with everyone else in the class, and we had to sit and listen as everyone discussed it. We were not allowed to defend what we wrote because, as my professor said, if you publish something you aren't going to be there to explain things to the people who read your work. Sometimes the comments were positive, and sometimes negative, but I found it profound either way. There is something to be said about being able to take criticism and being able to use it to construct better work. It becomes a tool instead of a hindrance.
I mention this today because I was wondering how Harold Bloom would react to my book. If you don't know, Harold Bloom is a professor at Yale and also a literary critic. I read some of his work when I was in university. He hated Harry Potter, and was upset when Stephen King one a lifetime writing award. Harold Bloom feels that literature is being 'dumbed down' in modern generations. As a fan of the classics myself, but an author of YA Fantasy, I am dying to know what Harold Bloom would think of my book. I'm pretty sure he'd hate it, but for some reason I am drawn to wonder what his criticism might entail. I suppose I could email him, just for a lark. I don't expect a response, but then, I didn't expect one from Piers Anthony either. Maybe I'll do that now, and report if I hear back.
Bryant Reil currently resides in Kelowna, BC. Recent accomplishments include completing a Master's degree, and having finished two books, Elf Mastery and Elf Doubt. The third book, Elf Righteous, is underway.