The Frail Heart of Paper

I am in one of those stupid defeatist moods where I keep typing stuff then deleting it.

The Inner-Critic is on my shoulder poking and laughing at my blog entries and calling me a pretentious twat.

Or else he’s yawning and saying how boring it is.

Criticism.

It can make you improve. Energize you to do better.

Or it can drag you down. Put you in your place and make you feel the inertia.

I remember my first ‘crits’ at college. The hot, wrenching physical pain of your work being picked to pieces, dissected and destroyed in front of your peers.

The feeling that please please PLEASE make the moving finger move on, move away, away, from my work to settle on someone else … and please, please, please let them get a harsher roasting than me.

Measuring my own shame against someone else’s.

It’s what you end up doing.

When your heart is pinned to a wall (or a page), everyone has the right to laugh at it.

Hate it.

Love it.

Yet when you know the glow, that sunshine feeling inside that says ‘Hey you must’ve done alright!’ any criticism that’s served becomes a nice little side-dish. You feel positive. You can take the comments forward to make your next paper heart.

As an advertising copywriter, I’ve worked with too many people who told me that the words don’t matter.

If I’d ever had the courage, I’d have told them they should perhaps shut their mouths and open their minds.

Words always matter.