When does negative criticism become toxic? [Public Souvenir]

The path to any dream or goal is usually far from easy. For most of us, we understand that feedback is essential to growing our craft but that isn’t always helpful when you realize that there are some that either doesn’t understand what you’re trying to do or just flat out don’t care about what you’re trying to do. Whichever it is, their “help” isn’t helpful at all.

Now, don’t let anyone fool you into thinking you can’t take criticism – if you think that someone’s just being malicious (even if it wasn’t their intent), you’re probably right. These comments can come from anyone; family, friends, peers in the field, mentors, etc. No matter where it comes from, they can stifle how you feel about your work.

Here are your telltale signs:

 Misunderstanding your work

Most times, people just won’t get where you’re coming from. It could be because of differences in opinion, taste or not understanding the craft itself. That isn’t to say that you should only share your work with those that ‘get it’ but rather understand the difference between a constructive, unbiased opinion and a person projecting their own thoughts that are only relative to what they know/like.

Some may think your ideas are too risque or maybe too plain but everything can be a stepping stone once you think you’re in the right direction. If the critique focuses more on the things you did wrong instead of advising you on ways to make your idea better then it’s not for you.

Ensure that the person is critiquing your work and not just you as a person.

Quick tip: If there’s an opinion only one person has, there’s probably a reason no one else shares that POV.

Holding you accountable for things they lack/excel at

There are those who find problems based on things they’ve never been able to master and so try to make up for it by giving criticisms based on how THEY do things. On the other hand, some critiques come from a person who believes so highly in their authority on certain matters that they shred your work to pieces for not doing things “the right way”. For those cases, you need to realize, that’s their problems, not yours.

Learn to filter out those that only want to your work become an imitation of their own.

“Cookie-Cutter Zombies”

There’s always that one person who’s ALL about the basics. Everything is “textbook” for them – Step one > Step two > Step three… If your work didn’t fit a mold then it can fit anywhere else. This type of advice isn’t gonna always help.

Don’t get me wrong; the basics are basics for a reason but they’re more of a foundation rather than blueprints. The best thing about being a creator is that you have your own unique POV and you can allow others to see through those lenses. What good is your masterpiece if it looks like “that guy’s” masterpiece?

New forms, techniques, and trends are made because people didn’t always stick to the basics. And you can do the same — or not in this case.


At the end of it all, advice is advice but you shouldn’t lose the true vision of what you want because it doesn’t please everyone. Just remember that you’re on an amazing, personal journey. You owe it to yourself (and to your work) to find companions who can get you where you need to be.

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Find your next best idea in music [Public Souvenir]

Sometimes, without even noticing, a bright, fresh and interesting idea comes to mind by just listening to a song. Whether it’s the beat, the lyrics or it’s the mood I’m in when I listen to music, there’s always the possibility that my mind is brewing a new idea that is slightly – or totally – inspired by that song. The genre doesn’t matter. You’d be surprised what you can find in your everyday playlist and even in songs you’ve never even thought to listen to.

There are times when I have the idea beforehand and then the music compliments and amplifies how I decide to express the idea. And there’s nothing better than creating a playlist for your idea – with no limit on how many songs there are. Just like the playlist you have for exercising or studying, consider a playlist for your creative work, too. A whole playlist may seem a bit much, but once you have a blueprint and theme for your idea, the playlist will make itself. Just think of it as a movie and it’s soundtrack (they’re much better together, right?). Don’t worry about what people “hear” from your creations; they’re there to satisfy you alone. The music isn’t there to dictate what your doing but instead to inspire you along the way.

This snippet of advice isn’t limited to writing, even though it has benefited my writing from time to time. For me, listening to a self-curated playlist helps me visualize certain themes, emotions, the setting, the mood, and helps me to be things into context, if I’m being honest. Whether you’re a writer or not, I highly recommend you try to visualize your ideas through music. There’s so much to tap into, to bring your ultimate creation to life.


Happy Creating,

         Kerine

YouTube for Writers [Public Souvenir]

There is a wide range of content  you can find on YouTube to satisfy any niche that entertains you: gaming, makeup, news, animation, and the list goes on. So.. there must be a community on YouTube for writer’s too, right?

Of course there is!

Today’s souvenir is for anyone who wants more resources, tips, or just different POV’s towards writing. So I give to you:

15 of the Best YouTube Channels for Writers


Enjoy!

One doesn’t have to be a lonely number [Public Souvenir]

Your head is full ideas, right? You have a million and one things you want to do, as soon as possible too. These projects are really important to you and you want- no NEED – them to be amazing and out there in the world ! I bet you’re even trying to get some done at the same time too. But what about that burned out feeling you’re getting? There must be a better way to do the most without sacrificing your sanity. This article is really for anyone who wants a better grasp to get what they want and always being happy while you do it.

Enjoy!

How to Be More Creative: Use This Method to Manage Writing Projects

Keep the pace up! [Public Souvenir]

I can’t tell you how many times I give myself a mini vacation for accomplishing the simplest of tasks. It’s almost as if my brain’s switch is automatically set to wind down – or just shut down – after one big idea, story, or project. I end up feeling guilty and clueless after a while and most of my ideas don’t seem entirely enticing anymore. Today’s article is for anyone who wants as productive as possible and keep you at your best with your writing.

Enjoy!

How to Avoid the Post-Writing-Challenge Slump

Your first draft isn’t your worst one [Public Souvenir]

My head is bursting at the seams with ideas I want to get out, get on paper and get in the hands of any willing reader. The first thing I do is write it down, exactly as I’ve thought it, before I lose it to the rest of the chaos in my head and when I’ve finally turned my ‘thinking  cap’ off, I revisit my ideas. The same goes for everything, including stories or poems I want to write. Sometimes what I write is usable and becomes the perfect beginning to write the rest of my piece. Sometimes I just trash that first draft and start all over. And if its just not my day I  put it at the back of the line of thoughts hoping I’ll know what to do when I get back to it.

For most, and even for myself, the first draft, the first attempt to bring this abstract concept to life on paper, doesn’t go very well. The pressure you give yourself to make it something fantastic the first time around is agonizing especially when it just doesn’t play out that way. Luckily, it gets easier when you accept that any attempt is a good one, once it helps you to learn, develop and grow your story – even that wretched first draft.

Basics are always a good place to start because every house needs its foundation. So here’s a great article on How to Not Waste Your Words: The Secret to Writing a Crappy but Usable First Draft.

Here’s What’s New for February!

Most of my February content has been planned already and will be following the same blog format -> Here’s the Blog Format.

What’s new for this month?

A new mystery series on my Wattpad Page

Excerpts. background and behind the scene details for the poems in my book Epiphany

Posting some new designs for an official blog logo.

I’ll be testing out a new discussion segment to start a conversation on popular topics and much more.

Like, comment and follow to keep up with the new changes!

Let’s Not Write a Lullaby [Public Souvenir]

 I’ve always stuck to writing free form based on my feelings and experience for the sole reason that I’ve never been able to do prose very well. Or at all. My biggest fear when it comes to prose is either giving too little descriptions, too much descriptions or just really bad descriptions. I eventually want to try my hands at writing whole novels and this week’s souvenir is almost a crash course to get you started on telling the story you want to tell without getting too lost in the details. The last thing any of us want to do is bore anyone to sleep/death and I’m sure this tip  can help us resurrect a few.


Let’s finally get to the meat of the matter:

How to Describe Settings (Without Putting Your Reader to Sleep)