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Artist's Way
Dealing With Criticism

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When you receive criticism of any sort -- from family, friends, peers, the world, or even yourself -- follow these rules for softening the blow and getting yourself back on track.

Get back on that horse!!

1. Receive the criticism all the way through and get it over with.

2. Jot down notes to yourself on what concepts or phrases bother you.

3. Jot down notes on what concepts or phrases seem useful.

4. Do something very nurturing for yourself--read an old good review or recall a compliment.

5. Remember that even if you have made a truly rotten piece of art, it may be a necessary stepping-stone to your next work. Art matures spasmodically and requires ugly-duckling growth stages.

6. Look at the criticism again. Does it remind you of any criticism from your past--particularly shaming childhood criticism? Acknowledge to yourself that the current criticism is triggering grief over a long-standing wound.

7. Write a letter to the critic--not to be mailed, most probably. Defend your work and acknowledge what was helpful, if anything, in the criticism proffered.

8. Get back on the horse. Make an immediate commitment to do something creative.

9. Do it. Creativitiy is the only cure for criticism.