a while back, my publisher mentioned that I never hold back my criticism of well-established authors. I blanched a bit, then acknowledged the veracity of that statement.
in my defense, however, I stated “it’s only when I feel something they’ve put out there doesn’t live up to the incredible work I’ve fallen in love with, that doesn’t resonate with me in the same way as other works I’ve loved.”
I’m not critical of the authors themselves–these are not personal attacks; I am simply vocal in my assessment of work that doesn’t touch me as other things they’ve written have done. I could behave differently; I could gush and just say “I love everything so-and-so’s ever written,” but it often isn’t the truth. my critiques are very personal: they are only about me and my reaction to the work. and this is, I’m certain, where I myself am going to have to work on developing my own self-protective shell. not everyone likes what I write, and not everyone will like what I put out there. some people may like one piece and not another, and some people will dislike everything I write. as such, I–like every artist–need to build and buttress my own shell.
it is healthy–and the only way to be genuine in this world–to speak your truth about experience with art, be it written or composed or visual. our visceral reactions are unique; they are responses from deep within, formed by a mysterious interplay of nature, temperament, nurture, life experience–soulful stuff. we are drawn to the inexplicable at times, and the more we heed this call, the more authentic (and fulfilled) we are. certain designs, rhythms, and patterns please a majority of us, but it serves no one when a person pretends what doesn’t please him or her actually does.
like what you like. love what you love. admit when you don’t. and when you perceive a naked emperor, speak your truth.