Jeff Goins wrote in his newsletter recently,
“The problem with “too much” is it’s not enough. Not for some people.
Too much tweeting, too much talking, too much selling — these are all subjective, determined by someone else’s preference and worldview. What feels like an overwhelming series of broadcasts to one person is near silence to another. So whom do you try to please? Everyone or no one?
My experience with this
A week doesn’t go by when I don’t get an email from a stranger, telling me I’ve done something wrong: pushed too hard, asked too aggressively, wrote too much.
What’s tough is reconciling this with the hundreds of positive responses I get, thanking me for those same things that were “too much.” I’m not sure what to make of it.
Truth is, a man can drive himself crazy trying to please everyone. And this is a lot more complicated than who’s right and who’s wrong.
Sometimes, the critics are right, and you need to pay attention to those squeaky wheels. These people can help you grow, keep you from devolving into a pop star.
But to be fair, sometimes you need to chalk up a few scathing remarks to the reality of not being able to please everyone.
The real trick, though, is to continue doing what you’re called to do, regardless of popularity or criticism. Even when the masses hate you for it. Even when they love you.
Sometimes, consensus is an artist’s worst enemy.”
Jeff also wrote a great blog, The Essential Guide to (Not) Responding to Critics which I read with interest as it is truly one of my greatest challenges. It is so very difficult not to take criticism personally, and to not allow it to change my focus. I write because the idea now of not writing every day is hideous! I’m not really sure why I write, other than to express my inner world, and to heal myself. It is a form of narrative therapy. It is also a way to recall, my world. I am not always right with the things I talk about, at least in the opinion of others. But what I write is right for me. I remember hearing one of my all time heroes and guru Wayne Dwyer say he used to receive a lot of written letters from critics, and he used to respond by sending the negative ones to the people who wrote the positive letters, and vice versa. I think this is probably the best way to respond, as any criticism, good or bad, is only someone else’s opinion.