There’s a funny thing about criticism. Think about your favourite book, your favourite song. Think about how much you love it, how you drank in every word, every note, and you loved it with all of your heart. How it meant so much to you. How it warmed your heart and soul, and you thought it was perfect, just as it was.
There would definitely be people who would hear that same song, read that same book, and find a lot of things wrong with it. Those people would find faults, errors, flaws, areas where they think that book or song you love so much is lacking. They might find it boring. They might find it repetitive. They might hate it.
Who should the writer listen to, when deciding what to do with their work? Those that love it, or those that find flaws? The fans or the critics? The opinions of both sides is valid. It’s not as if the critics are completely wrong, and the fans are completely right. But who should the writer listen to? Who are they trying to please?
I think, at the end of the day, it’s up to the writer. Their heart. Their soul. Their love. What do THEY want to read, what do THEY want to listen to. What warms their heart? I’m not saying the writer is better than anyone, but of course their own opinion is what should come first, when writing, creating, editing. If they please the critics, but hate the end result, is the work part of them anymore? Or is it a combination of the harsh thoughts of others?
Think about that favourite book or song again. What if, before it was released, the writer listened to some people who hated it, and changed it? Made it something completely different? Wouldn’t you think that was a terrible shame?
There are those that love your work, just as it is. Of course, edit it. Refine it. Improve it. But for those that want you to rip it apart, tear it up, change it completely, stop and think about your fans. There are those that love your work, just as it is. Don’t break their heart, while you’re breaking your own.