Monday, February 8, 2010

Taking criticism from the right people can lead you out of mediocrity

In the blogosphere you must question why you are blogging if you do not feel a little uncomfortable as your mouse hovers over the publish button.

When you put yourself 'out there' and say what you really think then you have to accept what comes back at you in the comments section.

I think sometimes that's easier said than done.

For example it’s easy to accept nice, supportive comments because then you know that you have reached readers who are a good fit for you.

Unfortunately nice supportive comments can feel a bit stale after a while. By stale I mean tedious from familiarity, boring and static. I believe that blogging by consensus will not move you forward.

I am the first to admit that I’m the one leaving nice supportive comments on the majority of the blogs that I read. A post that gets a nice supportive comment from me is usually a safe, balanced post that leaves me a little entertained.

More often than not I find myself wishing that more was revealed, and that there was some talk of other less positive issues that I face, such as money problems, relationship issues, etc.

And what’s more, if a less shiny side of the blogger’s life saw the light of day in their posts then I would find it harder to simply write a safe, supportive, nice comment.

I have never received any negative or constructive criticism on any of my posts, but I know that if I did I would be lead away from my position in an attempt to please those who did not agree with me. I am quite sure this would happen even though I know that it is impossible to please everybody. If you’ve never had a negative comment then you should reread the previous paragraphs again, along with me, and repeat as necessary.

So where does that leave me? My safe posts attract nice, supportive, and often' ho hum' comments that may keep me in mediocrity (this is why I am sweating as I hover over the publish button for this post because I am biting the supportive hands that feed my ego) and if I write posts that move me forward then I must deal with any negative criticism in a way that maintains my position. It’s clear to me that I both want to, and need to move forward.

So here is the deal. I will find the courage to be a better blogger if you will comment in a way that moves me forward. I want comments that ask more of me. I want your interactive, brain switched on, comments and I want your gritty engagement.

I will offer you no less than that in my future comments on those posts of yours that make you sweat.