I've been participating in on online songwriting challenge (note: challenge, NOT contest!) to write 50 songs in 90 days. I'm more than half way through the songwriting marathon.
I'm also aware of how important an online community full of encouragement is along the way. On the 50/90 website, I've posted up videos of every one of my 31 songs. The site encourages the participants to leave feedback for each other, just as long as it's positive. Even though I don't know the people sending me these cheers, they are a huge reason I keep on going even when I start to feel a little discouraged. I find myself checking in on my comment section whenever I need a little "Yahoo, Kerri!" fix.
There is a time for criticism (I guess?), but during the initial stages of the creative process, we just need to be brave- and being encouraged sure does help. While I'm writing at this fast pace, I don't allow my inner critic to enter into the picture. Once I'm in editing mode, when this 90 days is complete and the 50 rough songs are written, then I can get a little more critical with myself. And maybe, maybe some constructive criticism from others will be helpful.
Or maybe not. I create as a form of self-expression. So I'm sort of torn between getting advice, and just going with my own gut, my own self-expression.
I have showed up to songwriting circles before, played songs in a very raw form, and when I'm offered constructive feedback, I find myself feeling bad and then I abandon the song completely. So for me, it hasn't been so constructive.
I've never been one to be criticized and then take on the "I'll show them!" attitude. However, if someone tells me I'm doing a good job on something, I just want to make it better. Of course, this is just me and how it works in my little world.
I'd love to hear how you feel about criticism in regards to your creative endeavors.