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Saturday, June 4, 2011

Critics, Awwww Who Needs 'Em! Me, I guess.

I love my Grandfather.

My relationship with my grandfather has always been interesting.  It's a generic term but that might be the best way to describe our dynamic.

He is ornery, snarky and full of piss and vinegar.  He's also loving, caring and an American hero.  He's seen the world and has very definite opinions about it.   His opinions also include ideas about my opinions and writing.

I've always respected and looked up to him.  We both have very strong personalities and sometimes we disagree. Much to his chagrin, I've always held my ground when it comes to taking a stand for what I believe in. 

I learned that from him.

Any aspiring writer always looks for the most intriguing subject matter so when I was in 7th grade, I wrote a biography paper about him. Not my best work and some parts might have been a bit shaky but I still earned an A.  Maybe that's why he's my toughest critic.

Fast forward 25 years...When I asked him to read and follow my blog, I got an email response.  It was not what I expected although maybe it should have been.  He told me that it was "not bad" but that he "lost interest" and "I could do much better..." You get the gist.

I've got to give him credit, at 87 he's quite computer savvy and has been since his early 70's. Except for the occasional political spam he might forward, he communicates very well via email.

I'm not going to lie, of course it stung a bit.  In fact, so much so, that night  I woke up at about 3:00 a.m. more than slightly hurt and annoyed.  But then again, I did send him the request to read and follow me, right?  I should be more than open to criticism, no matter how much it might sting.

That said, I know that his intentions were to inspire me and to get me to step up my game.  If it weren't for the nature of our relationship, I might have told him to take a long walk off a short pier.  Instead, I licked my wounds and for better or worse, am trying to consider the source and not take it too seriously. 

Perhaps I should take it seriously though.  Maybe senior citizens are not my target demographic but I need to remember that each idea I share or story I tell could use a little extra spice.  I should be able to engage every reader at every age so that proposes a dilemma... 

Do I conduct focus groups on specific topics from Dr. Suess to what's happening on 60 Minutes?  Do I treat my blog like it's a public relations campaign?  Do I need to create surveys using random samples and then apply statistical analysis?  Hmmmm, quite a quandary.

Nah. The bottom line is this, I write for me and I aim to please.  If I am lucky enough to make someone laugh or inspire someone else, well that's just gravy. 

So Grandpa, if you are reading this I hope it's kept your interest and know this: 

I will continue to do my best and I trust that you will continue to be my biggest critic, and perhaps one day, even my biggest fan.

1 comment:

  1. Well, Darcy, Grandpa may be a tough critic, but he will be your most honest. When started my public blog back in 2007 it was just as means to pass the time. Sort of therapeutic. As time passed and friends read what was valid & worth reading, they began encouraging me to write more. Of course we get excited. I got very excited. "People like what I have to say? Really?!" Until the one honest critic remarked with a similar critique as your grandpa pa. I was frustrated as well. HOW DARE THEY! Lol But I'm a fighter and a silly perfectionist. This only added fuel to my fire & forced me to forge on harder and to seek a more interesting topic. Four years and some near 600 followers later, the learning has, somewhat, paid off. I LOVE that you have chosen this path for my own bias reasons. Press on love! I am digging it!