Share Your Work. Share your work as soon as possible. Ask for feedback and when you receive criticism, don’t take it personally.
I think these small, simple steps are some of the most important, and difficult for an aspiring artist.
It is difficult to share your work because you have poured your heart and soul into it and you are terrified that people won’t respond to it well. It is the most deeply personal and beautiful thing you’ve ever created and yet you know that people may not love it. Your own significant other may not love it, may not respond to it the way you wish them to.
It is difficult to accept criticism for the same reason! You poured your heart and soul into this.
Now here is the rather difficult truth that you, the aspiring artist, need to understand;
Your work is probably not that good.
That may sound like it’s intended to discourage you, but the truth is just the opposite. Would you expect that your first day in a martial arts gym, that you’d put Marcelo Garcia in a twister, pick apart Saenchai, and then easily dominate Jon Jones in a sparring session? Would you expect to d-up Lebron your first time playing basketball? To spank Kasparov your first time on the chess board?
Of course not. And writing is no different.
Writing is a skill. It requires practice and coaching to improve. The best way to find coaching is to share your work—even if someone doesn’t have an editing or writing background, an intelligent or emotionally intelligent person can still give good feedback on a piece of writing.
And when you receive that criticism, don’t give into your immediate emotional response of telling that person that they’re wrong, that you’re a genius, that they’re an idiot who just doesn’t understand the masterwork in front of them. Instead, thank them. They are giving you a wonderful gift, one that’s going to help you improve as a writer.
Then, examine their criticism closely, and start looking for ways to improve your writing.
This isn’t going to be easy, but you can do it.
Share Your Work.