Friday 11 March 2011

Criticism on a sunny day

The sun woke me up this morning- it’s been months since that happened and not to sound like a total hippy it’s a simple but happy little present from nature. It makes you smile inside and out I think- and I'm sure my toes smiled as they stretched and thought about wearing sandals soon.

So I’m sorry to talk about criticism but sometimes we must be critical- and I find it very hard. On a face to face basis or in a business environment I can appraise someone well and mention problems in a productive way but I find it much more difficult to write reviews of a play, music or a new perfume for example. I believe in finding the good but sometimes when something is either fantastically mediocre or just not very good that does have to be said and I struggle to do that well.

Actually that isn’t true, I don’t struggle, I’m just afraid to- but I'm more afriad of not being honest. I don’t want to trample on people’s efforts, I want to find the good in what they do and if there isn’t good to find move on. For the most that means that I only write about what I love but that can make for writing that starts to sound too similar and I can bore myself with the same superlatives.

So what to do- how do other people cope with the problem of having to say this is not for me?


Metropolitan Mum said...

Uh-oh. I hope you don't talk about the book, I'd be crushed. For a second, but then I'd try to make it better, so I guess there's something good in criticism?

If something has been given to me for review and it's just too awful, I usually let the sender know and tell them that I'd rather not do the review.

I am sure you'll find the right words. As you always do. xx

Rose said...

Hi MM- NO! of course not and as I say I cannot not be honest so I really would say.

It's more I end up sometimes only reviewing what I like and feeling like a broken record, but I don't think it's constructive to review something I don't like just because it's new.

I think the book is brilliant but if I didn't I genuinely would say so. Very excited about getting more pages xx

Dolly said...

wish I could help but I struggle with this too. More when it comes to art. I don't want to say nothing, but I know what I feel may show in my face? I too don't want to crush anyone. Being creative in anyway means a lot of the time you bare yourself, and fight the fear that nobody will like what you have created.

Jayne said...

I wouldn't worry, Rose. This is your blog, and you don't have to write about things you don't like. I've found so many wonderful new things from your blog - whether it is places to go, things to admire. I like it when you like things!

With reviewing - I think if someone is being paid to be a reviewer, say part of a newspaper or magazine, then ok, they review things bad or good as they see fit. But if it is someone doing things for pleasure then there should be no obligation on behalf of a product, nothing that makes the person doing it for pleasure feel bad.

Sorry for any typos - got ginger cat on my lap and he keeps resting his chin on my fingers!

jewelry said...

I think your blog post was secretly a awesome beginning to a potential series of blog posts about this topic. So many people pretend to comprehend what they’re talking about when it comes to this topic and generally, very few people actually get it. You seem to grasp it though, so I think you ought to run with it. Thanks a lot!

ScentScelf said...

Rose, I think your respect and concern would be woven into any critical reflection you had to offer.

I also think that, though it can be difficult to be critical, as long as one doesn't dump and harangue, there is value to be gleaned from hearing what a certain person does not like, and why. There are movie reviewers, for example, who I respect very much, and generally feel I am in sync with, but their "criticism" is occasionally as much a signal for me to check it out as it is a presentation of why they say don't. We all have our own contours of how we experience life.

This from another person who generally tries to stick with the positive review of specific somethings, while diverting criticism to concepts rather than executions. ("Execution" here meaning the creation of a product, not a guillotine or vehement naysaying. ;) )

Unknown said...

I'm not good at bad reviews either. I've only done a couple. I feel the worst when it's a small, indie perfume brand. I think Olenska at Parfumieren does a great job at giving balanced reviews.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

I think you answered your own question a bit there. Just say "this is not for me".