Friday, October 21, 2011

The Hard Lessons...

Did you know there is no word in the English language that is the equivalent of Karma? Not too surprisingly, that's why we use the word Karma.

I recently gave out copies of my two Octavia novels to someone, free, and I may have asked for an opinion or critique, I don't recall precisely what was said. What I do know is that an emailed "critique" did in fact arrive, and that it was neither kind nor positive. Instead of illuminating, it was negative and demeaning. In fact, it was clearly designed not be constructive and helpful but to be destructive and hurtful. You could call it a suckerpunch.

Nowadays I always respond positively when someone shows me something they've done, even if I aesthetically find it distasteful or just plain don't like it. If they ask me technical questions about what might need improvement, I try and give useful answers, and most importantly I try to be kind. I do this on a regular basis with the new online Art Academy that I run via my website, for example.

But it was not always so; in the past, I have given the same sort of cruel commentaries as I just received, disguised as "criticism" but in reality designed to tear down someone else and inflate my own ego.

In the recent Octavia affair, what really hurt was not the critique itself but the realization that I had done exactly the same sort of thing before myself.

And the shame I felt was intense as those Karmic Chickens came home to roost.

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