From Joe Konrath: Be Deliberate
I stumbled across this blog entry from indy author Joe Konrath: Be Deliberate
Taste is subjective. But very few people are able to separate their feelings about something from the value it might actually have (as evidenced by the thought that went into it), simply because they can't perceive its value, or don't bother trying to perceive it.
Which is lazy. Or ignorant. Or outright stupid. Or some combination of all three
We can offhandedly say "That TV show sucks" simply because we don't like that type of show, or don't care for one of the actors on that show, or it didn't provoke emotion. But chances are high that the show doesn't actually suck, because there was a lot of work that went into it, by a lot of people who did their best. It takes a lot of dedicated folks a lot of hours to create a television show. That doesn't mean the show is automatically excellent, but knee-jerk or cavalier dismissal of something that took so much time shows little understanding of the creation process, and devalues it.
All opinions are valid, because you can't argue with subjectivity. But just because something doesn't work for you doesn't mean it doesn't work.
This sums up so many of the issues I have with people who comment, blog, review, and otherwise express their "opinions" online. It also helps me understand why I generally don't react well to people who tend to express very strong opinions. It's far too easy to write off something as useless, wrong, and stupid if it doesn't work for you. Since it's now a trivial matter to "share" your views and opinions either via an original post or a comment on someone else's work, people think they hold far more sway than they actually do. And if you don't agree with them? Then it's "game on" to explain how *you're* stupid for not understanding the wisdom of their thinking.
As Konrath explains, putting a lot of work into something doesn't mean it's wonderful and perfect. And if you're expecting *everyone* to love what you've done, you're in for some major disappointment. If your audience consists of more than one person, you will never be able to please 100% of them. But understand that a lot of work went into any creative endeavor, and just because you don't like it doesn't mean that others won't either. You are not everyone, and everyone has different motivations, needs, and likes.
Be deliberate. State your opinion but explain *why*. Just because something doesn't work for you doesn't mean it doesn't work.