I just finished reading “A Tale of Two Cities”, by Charles Dickens. A charming little story about the days of terror and the French revolution. The book is considered a classic work of literature. I mean, who hasn’t heard, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” and “It is a far, far better thing than I have ever done,” How about this gem, “Detestation of the high is the involuntary homage of the low.” I read the afterword. It criticized Dickens for his poor character development of two main characters (Charles Darnay and Lucie Manette). Also, there are too many melodramatic coincidences (Sidney Carton is Charles Darnay doppelganger allowing for a vital identity mix up). Really? More recently, I went to a guitar workshop of shred-wizard named Michael Angelo Batio (rhymes with ‘radio’) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qG74eVb6V10 He is obviously a very fine guitar player. If you like, click the link give a listen and look at the likes (16,735) vs. dislikes (818). In Batio’s workshop he discussed how no matter what you do, whatever you put out there, people will criticize. Play to the critics and neither you nor they will ever be satisfied, Batio said in his workshop. How does that apply to regular people like you and me? I am no Dickens or Batio. Either are you, I am guessing. And yet, we may find ourselves holding back fearing criticism. What is the take home? People will criticize regardless of how much you or I guard against it. We have no control of what people think or say. Write what you need to write, play what you need to play, sculpt what you need to sculpt (see below).
original art by Susan Brown