Are You Critic or Creator?

“Do some good in the world for no other reason than wanting to be part of the solution.” Cal Newport

There’s a worrying trend online and in the world in general. The ‘sport’ of taking pot shots at those that dare to bring something into the world by those that often bring little.

There are many reasons for this including but not limited to:

Being a critic is easy.

Hiding behind a keyboard, hurling spiteful comments is low risk.

Presenting your work to the world and putting your name on it opens you up to the opinions of others and is relatively higher risk.

Grumbling that you “never get the breaks” is so much easier than turning up to do the work again and again and again.

Making your own breaks is hard, with no guarantees that any of this stuff we create will gain traction.

Being a critic lets you get the chip off your shoulder for 5 minutes and possibly feels good for just as long.

Creating takes a degree of, dare I say it, courage and conviction.

Creating is Hard

Creating anything – art, words, a blog, a book – is tough. Not all of us are guaranteed making this our full-time gig. Only a tiny percentage of us end up making a living off our creative work in isolation. You know what, we do it anyway! We can’t imagine not doing it. We’re committed to our craft, to our own individual journey to improve. Trying to make today’s work better than yesterday’s.

We know the critics are there but we learn to develop thick skin. Like a Prize Fighter, we’d rather be in the ring daring all than watching passively or worse, criticising from the safe side of the ropes. We can live with trying our best and falling short but we cannot live with not trying.

We get to decide whether we criticise or create. Whether we try to impact the world in a positive way by leaving positive footprints or proceed through life complaining about our misfortune.

With an ever-growing list of articles, blog posts and books I decided my route long ago. How about you? Are you critic or creator?

Carl writes short books full of big ideas including: Need Less, Live More and Slow: Seeking Stillness in Fast Paced Times. He is also the proud owner of Frictionless Living which is focused on helping readers simplify, finding focus and find clarity in a distracted times.

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