Years ago I made an important choice: I will always be a creator, not a critic.
This may sound like the obvious choice, but in today’s culture we often reward the critic with just as much attention and fame. Far more than they deserve.
As more creators are daring to create, they often don’t meet the standards we think they should. Whether it’s a beginner whose skill doesn’t yet match their taste, or the professional who makes a misstep. There’s someone waiting to criticize.
That criticism gets attention. It’s usually witty, accurate, cutting, and possibly even deserved. But most of all, it’s unnecessary.
When a friend of ours was being attacked by Twitter mobs for a misinterpreted tweet, Ryan Delk said to me, “I decided years ago that I would always be on the side of the creator.”
That one line has stuck with me. I will always be on the side of the creator.
That means not mocking your product idea. Not complaining about bugs, typos, or poor design. But instead understanding that you dared to create and that should be encouraged. Especially if it isn’t yet to a high standard or your full potential.
Constructive criticism is important for growth. As creators we need to get better at opening that door for those who truly want to push us to be better, not just mock those who misstep.
Don’t be critic with an opinion on every new thing. Instead choose to be the creator, building the future.
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.