Too Nice?

We are, as bloggers, a true community. We that endeavor to share of ourselves, whether through word, photograph, art, or experience, have huddled together finding comfort among people with the same desire. We are given venue to share of ourselves in whatever format we choose. And our entries give birth to our ideas, concepts, and thoughts. We hope that others will find us here and enjoy what we have shared. Likewise, we seek out our own kind and their gifts. We read other’s blogs gaining insight, perspective, knowledge, and enrichment in our own lives.

We relish the ‘likes’ and the kind words of comments and lean on their support when we struggle with our own sense of accomplishment, skill, or success. We also offer them to the other bloggers, so that they too may feel recognized, appreciated, and supported. We are a unique community, as we are all artists in some way. We understand that creating and sharing our creations, put us at risk of criticism. Yet, we do so freely here, for we are also a uniquely ‘kind’ community. Here in our own village, we seem protected from the negative opinions that can make us rethink the value of what we share with others. Or, make us fret over what skills or abilities we may lack.

Maybe, as we are all artists, we are acutely aware of being critical about other’s art. We know that beauty lies along many paths and has many faces. We know what criticism can feel like when it applies to something you have birthed from your whole being. We know the subjectivity that lies at the heart of any judgement.

Our art is very personal and being judged can sometimes lead to being defensive. It is almost a knee-jerk reaction. But we also know, as artists, that it is vital. We are here to hone our craft. Judgements are made of our work, good or bad, spoken or not. Through any kind word or terse criticism, we seek to understand our audience. What do we do well? Where do we need to improve? Have we evoked what we sought to inspire? Do others find value or enjoyment in our labors?

It is the same metric universally used to obtain continuous improvement. Measure, modify, and improve. And the ‘likes’, ratings, and comments are our measure. But for as long as I have been here, I have yet to see a negative critique of any of my work. I have seen helpful suggestions or tips on other’s blogs, but even then, I have never seen anything truly negative. And thus, we have the scale of good and bad to measure with, that fails to move. I cannot accept, that my work is beyond critique or, that there are not obvious and glaring areas in which I can improve and polish my art. And, I don’t mean the harsh words social media is so adept at. I have never seen a blogger that allowed posting of that type of unconstructive hatred. No, just the helpfulness of honesty that might say, “this was too long”, “this changes tenses to often”, “I don’t get it”, etc.

It is part and parcel of what I had hoped for when I came onboard. I even went as far as to include a five-star rating system, so my readers had more options than just to push the ‘like’ button or not. An even more varying scale that allows me to know what resonates with readers, and what doesn’t. Feedback that will help me hone my craft and better portray my art. Or, am I just that freaking good? No, it is likely, we are all just that freaking nice!

Thankfully, there are many experienced writers and bloggers who share their greater wisdom on their own sites. I read many of them. I sometimes find my own improvement from recognizing myself in their words. But I am blissfully unaware of the things that I am blissfully unaware of.

So, I turn to you, my readers. First, thank you all for your kind words and support. I cannot say how many times they have kept me going. Second, be honest with me. I am open to your thoughts and input. I promise your criticism will be met with the same response as your praise. And, it is your unique outside perspective I need most to improve. A narrow field of view is dangerous in any endeavor. Feel free to use the rating system, if leaving anything less than a sunny comment is distasteful. It is easy to anonymously tell me bad, better, or best. And I need that, most of all, from the people that are my community. Thanks for reading!

4 Responses to “Too Nice?”
  1. We as a group are not “too nice”. It is, instead, that we have the understanding that writing is, indeed, an artist impression and that we all differ in our impressions. While I’d like to believe that my main priority in writing is to express what goes on inside my head and that others’ like, dislike and interpretation don’t matter, it is always refreshing to see a post get likes, and more importantly, to have comments shared. I enjoyed this post and hope that other readers will do so as well!

  2. Brad Osborne says:

    Thanks for reading and responding. I have other entries written and awaiting publishing that address the same question of self-expression as our only motivation. Keep your eyes peeled tor that. Thanks for your support!

  3. Sometimes we just relish reading people who share our same interests. There’s instant vibe there and then. As a consequence, small errors are overlooked, style is of little consequence. What matters is : I “get you” or at least “I think I do”.
    But here it goes seeing as you asked ……I challenge you to write something informative, entertaining and perhaps enlightening in no more than 350 words. Can you do it? I’m led to believe 300 to 400:words is the average attention span of most readers. Anything more takes extra effort.
    Don’t ask where I got this from. Think it’s common knowledge or something like that. It might be true….could be wrong. Your thoughts appreciated. I fail consistently at it.

    • Brad Osborne says:

      You make a valid point about accepting small errors when the content is enjoyed and understood. I know I do that all the time. And we must be kindred spirits, as you somehow know I can not pass on a challenge, so I accept. I assume prose and poetry are not allowed, as they so easily fit the length requirement. I will not question your statement on length, as I believe I have heard the same thing. I look forward to working on this. Thank you for your continue readership and engagement.

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