“If you have no critics you’ll likely have no success.”
-Malcolm X

What or who are critics? People who assess your work and critique it is usually the more common conception. And while that may be true, we often forget one basic definition: criticism is just an opinion.

Now I’ve written about this subject before. But when I wrote about it previously, I wrote about it from the point of view as a writer.

As I write this, I’m now in a position that’s under much more scrutiny than before.

I’m still a writer but now I’m editing as well. I’m overseeing manuscripts. I’m in the process of publishing a book and will probably publish more once the first one’s out.

Its’s an exciting time for me but that’s also more cause for worry. The more things I put out there for others to see, the more chance there is for negativity.

In short, the topic of criticism is a lot more intruguing to me then it was before. And hence, here is a part of the article I wrote before but with a new perspective:

We all have opinions. We’re all critics in some shape or form. How many times have you told a friend or family member how good or how bad was a movie you just saw?

Professional critics do the same thing with just one difference: they get paid for their opinions.

Years before the advent of the internet, the only people who were able to share their opinion about the latest movie or book on a mass level were professional critics who wrote for widely read newspapers or magazines. Once the internet came into people’s homes, it allowed the inception of “user reviews.” Now it was possible to read how the average Joe or Jane felt.

Today, the role of a critic in our lives has completely changed. Now, the only types of critics we need are ones who’ll genuinely make us better. That could be a supervisor teaching us how to be more apt at our jobs. It could be a mentor. We need those kind of critics to grow in life.

We can also benefit from unjust criticism. Recently, after getting one of the more higher recognitions as a writer via a Pushcart nomination, I found myself bombarded with polarizing opinions.

While close friends and family members were really happy for me, others strongly hinted that perhaps my recognition was not entirely justified. At first it really bothered me that an achievement I worked so hard would be easily dismissed.

But then I reminded myself that the criticism, just like the praise, was just an opinion. I had two distint opinions coming my way and it was my choice which one I chose to imbibe.

And that to me should be the basis of any criticism. If someone is critiquing you to help you grow, imbibe what they say. If it’s just a random opinion like that of a professional critic, take it with a pinch of salt. Because again, it’s just an opinion. Nothing more, nothing less.

How do you feel about professional critics as well as criticism in general? Do you see a distinction? When do you take it seriously? Share your thoughts and experiences by commenting below on our secure servers.

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