Friday, April 20, 2012

A to Z Challenge - Real Criticism is an Art

For the A to Z Challenge, my topic is leadership and goal-setting. I am posting short excerpts from my book, Overcoming Obstacles with SPUNK! The Keys to Leadership and Goal-Setting, along with an inspiring photo. Enjoy and dream big!

Real Criticism is an Art

First, we must define criticism on a basic and practical level. We are all quite familiar with movie critics and their ability to rake a film across the coals. These individuals appear to revel in their power to condemn a movie to box office disaster. However, the true purpose of criticism is not to tear down but build up character and content. To truly critique is to offer suggestions and possible improvements. Therefore, criticism should only be conducted in the spirit of assistance and encouragement.


  1. Love the picture!

    My kids need to read this post. They don't criticize to help the sibling do something better. They criticize they make themselves feel better. And they aren't the only ones to do it. I see it all the time when people "critique" someone else's excerpt in a writing contest. They tear it apart so they feel better about their own writing. :( The best part is when an agent leaves a comment that they love the excerpt.

  2. Amen sister! I don't think I have ever seen a movie a critic recommended that was good, says a lot about their idea of good versus bad. :)
    Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

  3. The agenda behind criticism makes all the difference in the world, doesn't it?

    I thought the criticism to the movie JOHN CARTER was tremendously slanted and unrelated to its merits. Sad really.

    Same goes for literary criticism. Great post as always, Roland

  4. Stina, exactly. And that's sad.

    Roland, it's all in the attitude.

  5. When I joined a writing group, I would critique other's work by rewriting nearly every sentence on their page. Then I noticed how the group leader would talk to people about their characters and imagine what the character was thinking and feeling and their motivations. It made me realize that a good critique goes beyond grammar and sentence style. The best critiques help the writer strengthen their story.

  6. Criticism is an art form. Too much and it's meaningless, too little and it's meaningless!

  7. I try to maintain that attitude when critiquing someone's work. I mean, I'm supposed to be helping them!

  8. I won't critique anything or anyone I don't like. Problem solved.

    I always think, when someone offers up a bad critique: WHY DID YOU FINISH!?

    If the book or movie was ~that bad~ then get up and leave. That's what I do. If I hate a book or movie, I'll quit in the middle and move on to something I enjoy, or better yet, not even start to begin with.

    So if someone finishes the piece, I infer they must have enjoyed it to some extent, because a truly, truly horrible book is so un-readable as to be impossible to finish.

    So the fact that they finished means they must have enjoyed it.


    - Eric

  9. What one person likes another don't. So when a critic reviews a film or book it is only their opinion. Some other critic may well say the opposit,


  10. I think that is a good way to go about it, with an attitude of helpfulness. Although I think some do not want to accept that anything needs improvement, no matter how kindly put. I have even been guilty of taking helpful criticism too personally. And sometimes it isn't easy to tell it like it is either.

  11. I try to show my students the difference between a critique and a criticism every day. We really do need to build each other up. Always!

  12. It should be conducted in a positive manner but rarely is.
    We can only start with ourselves, right?

  13. This applies to a whole lot more than writing.

  14. Yes, I like this and agree wholeheartedly. Too many people insult or offend under the guise of offering critique.

    Have a great weekend.

  15. I haven't heard it put quite like this before Diane, but it shows why much critiquing pulls down rather than builds up.


  16. I agree. It's how I like my critiques and how I try to give my critiques.

  17. This can apply to everyday life.