Monday, 28 August 2006

Good news hardly travel, but bad news definitely travel fast.

It's funny how if you had written something accurate and well-researched with beautiful flowing prose, you would hardly get any acknowledgement of what you had done.

On the other hand, should you happen to be the editor of a newsletter and included something phrased slightly wrongly, or used a somewhat incorrect name or even written a sentence using rather interesting grammar, you will be more than certain to receive at least one email telling you of it.

To be fair, some of such emails I've received are still fairly encouraging in their nature and come in the form of constructive criticism. But the interesting thing is, most of the emails are usually curt and condescending, meant to ensure "you do not repeat the mistake". Occassionally, you may also be graced with a personal phonecall laced somewhat with abuse.

Why don't we ever stop to tell someone how much we appreciate them?

Why don't we ever pause to write an email providing some sort of encouragement for a work well done?

Instead, we choose to accuse, point fingers and mock.

In all honesty, I have received many heart-warming feedback from people mentioning their appreciation of things I have written. What sometimes grates me are those whom you don't ever hear from, except when they are in the mood of nit-picking. They concern themselves with minute, inconsequential little details that most people wouldn't even care about.

I guess it's just something all writers have to get used to. When you publish something for all the world to see, you have to be prepared to receive more criticism than appreciation.

People seem to get motivated only to point fingers, but not to give someone a pat on their back. People will envision to tell you how to do your job and will also believe they can do it better. People will believe that you are perfect and should you fall, provide you with only a thin blanket for cushioning.

In the writing business, no feedback is definitely good feedback. If what you says make sense, if what you've written happen to be completely accurate, you will never hear from anyone. If you ever get any feedback, you know it will generally be in some form of abuse.

That is why whenever I read a positive article about the church by a secular journalist or when I read a particular article that impresses me, I try to write an email of appreciation to the writer, just because I know how rare those letters come by. Those letters that I treasure and hold dear for support when everybody else seems out to take a piece of me.

Writing isn't a private affair when you get published. Don't ever do it without first a healthy dose of self-esteem or a network of friends who will be there to encourage you.

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faith-t said...

Don't ever do it without first a healthy dose of self-esteem ...

Tell that to the guy who went off the deep end and threatened to sue me because I'd given some constructive feedback about his work.

I didn't even criticise him directly, merely giving reasons why firms hire professionals to do their logo designing. But he took it SO PERSONALLY it was a virtual Hiroshima with him ranting and threatening me with a lawsuit unless I apologised publically and retracted my words.

Retract what? That hiring professionals is an inaccurate statement?!


Ida said...

You nailed it Mel! People only point out when someone makes a mistake, not do something good.

I rarely hear something positive at work and that can anoy me a bit. BUT, I try to change myself and point out whensomething say, write or do something that I think is good and appreciate it.

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