Constructive criticism as a positivity practice

in #positivity5 years ago

Some years ago I stood at a precipice. It was called "graduation."

not me

Freed from the restraints of schooling at last, I was expected to begin contributing in earnest through the application of the education I had received. I looked over the edge and wondered how to find footing. There was no bridge, only a sudden drop into nothing. I could not proceed without manufacturing a bridge. I set to work.

Due to disabilities, I was unable to work outside the home, so I built my bridge inside it. I gathered my finest skills and offered them for a price to those who needed them most. People who, like me, sought to distinguish themselves from the other fish in the river. I took their work and polished it until it shone bright enough to draw attention. Once spotted, their bridges appeared.

In the process, my bridge was built by helping others reach their dreams.

Whether it was an office job, a grant or publication, I was their go-to girl. Whatever was handed to me, I asked and answered the following questions in the following order:

  1. What is the goal for this piece?
  2. What is working?
  3. What is not working?
  4. What will improve this piece?
  5. What should be celebrated even if it does not fit with the piece or the goal?

I used positivity as a basis for my practice. Why? People were coming to me at their most vulnerable. They arrived uncertain, dreams in hand, often opening their hearts and crying to me because what we worked toward felt unattainable. It was a far bigger job than I imagined. I always want to help everyone. It is part of the reason I've been drawn into the bad relationships I am now recovering from.

I learned much from the responsibility of critical dream-tending. A critic is what I was. I took in applications, artist statements, book proposals and more. I reviewed, edited, rewrote or ghost wrote whatever was handed to me. I did it carefully, with the sensitivity of an empath hurt too many times.

The most consistent feedback I received was that my kindness was appreciated. That the changes could not have been made it I hadn't been nice about the way I suggested them.

Yesterday, I announced that I will be working with @lifeisawesome to curate whale-upvoted work by minnows in an effort to gain viewership for writers and artists whose high-quality work is going unseen. To that end, #project-positivity is now a channel in and @positivity has been registered for resteeming and upvoting curation. Further, because a goal of the project is excellence in what is being produced and promoted, I requested the channel #writing-exchange be added. There, we can gather and share our ideas, art and writing with the goal of constructive criticism and artist growth.

Already, work is being exchanged and critiqued. There is a small community of writers of all experience gathered. I hope you will join! And when you do, I hope that you will give criticism with kindness, the way you would like to receive it. I did not know it when I began, but it turns out the giving of constructive criticism can be its own positivity practice and ultimately, a bridge even trolls aren't a fan of hiding under.

images via


Wow. This type of curating community should improve the quality here and, even more important, the feelings the minnows are experiencing daily.

Positive criticism is a good way to help others anytime, anywhere.

Thank you.

I hope so! I am excited to see where this goes!

Hey honey,
My girls is reading your posts over my steem account .
I just want to say thanks for free time that her reading giving to me :)

Glad to hear it!

Kindness is often the oil that keeps the wheels turning.

@honeyscribe I am so with you on this one! This is absolutely awesome and I will definitely support you in promoting this channel as far as possible. Negativity has ruined the reputation of many people before, not only on Steemit.

Fantastic! I look forward to reading more of your work.

I really believe that kindness is always appreciated but not from the persons that benefit of it! Sometimes we get our appreciation from outside observers.
I've realised I just created something that could help steemit users to not lose their followers...I have a new service out! I've just announced it! Maybe you will take a look and tell me what do you think about it! I want to create Custom Discounted T-shirts for anyone's followers!Thank you!

Hey, those are some cool shirts!

One of the things that I love most about Steemit are the initiatives to help so many people do better, be seen, and find avenues for growth. I have been an advocate for positivity because there is too much negativity in the world already. I'll be following and hope to participate in some of the challenges, but I hesitate to commit to anything at the moment as WriMo is right around the corner and I have new duties as a first year ML. But this may be the exact thing I need in my life to keep me staying positive and focused.
Well done, you guys.

I will be happy to see your contributions. Please consider the challenges during WriMo in case you get stuck!

I was already excited about project-positivity and I am now equally as psyched on the writing-exchange! You are literally increasing the value of steemit exponentially by creating betters writers in an encouraging way. Looking forward to my first critique and hoping to be able to lend a hand as well :)

Thank you! I'm excited about what we are all creating together!

Yes we are creating beauty, true human connection, and unity (:

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