March 31, 2013

How to Deal with Artistic Criticism

My father-in-law, a music lover, tells a story about Beethoven while the composer was writing his late string quartets a couple years before his death in 1827. Though now considered among the best musical compositions of all time, critics then complained that the quartets were unplayable or unlistenable. Beethoven, almost completely deaf, responded, "This music is not for you! It's for future generations!"

I think this is the best way to deal with any kind of artistic criticism:
  • The scarf you knitted that your dad said looked like a "chewed up baby blanket"? Duh, he wouldn't understand—it's for future generations! 
  • The handmade business cards you offered to your friends, to which they said, "No thanks, save them for someone who actually cares"? You didn't print these on acid-free paper for nothing! They're for future generations!
  • The casserole you made for someone's birthday potluck, that some random guest you didn't know tried to sneak back into the serving dish after taking a bite? Go get a ziploc freezer bag, hon, 'cause this casserole was meant for future generations! 
Sure, the internet enables you to find your audience anywhere. But don't forget about your fans anywhen.

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