9/17/07

in stride

i've heard or read in various ways that a true mark of spiritual growth is to not be moved by criticism or praise, but to be fueled from within. the challenge, it seems, is accepting praise without becoming dependent upon it--attached to it in such a way that intrinsic worth is thereby derived. some time ago, i read an interview of writer uzodinma iweala (beasts of no nation) in which he quotes salman rushdie in reference to critics, "if you believe them when they say you're good, then you have to believe them when they say you're bad."

8 comments:

Lisa said...

I suppose it would be nearly impossible to believe that writers aren't influenced by positive or negative criticism on occasion. I agree that the key is to see it as something separate -- less important -- than how we feel about our own work. The older I get, the more I find that outside criticism helps me become more confident in my own self assessments. If someone admires something I wrote that I liked myself, or questions something I wrote that I thought might be off, it bolsters the thought that my objectivity about my own work isn't too bad. For me, the ideal state is to trust myself enough to weigh carefully the input from the rest of the world, have the humility to listen to suggestions, but not to take it too seriously and never to take it personally. A good trick if you can pull it off :)

iyan and egusi soup: said...

well said, lisa!

Carleen Brice said...

New picture, O! Lovely!

Ello said...

Good post! Beast of no nation is sitting next to my bed to be read second to next! I agree about criticism. In fact, I tend to be more skeptical about praise and more accepting about criticism. It helps to be a thick skinned also!

Ello said...

Good post! Beast of no nation is sitting next to my bed to be read second to next! I agree about criticism. In fact, I tend to be more skeptical about praise and more accepting about criticism. It helps to be a thick skinned also!

iyan and egusi soup: said...

thank you carleen. i'd just re-twisted my locks after months of 'hatting' and 'scarfing' it; that alone, i thought, deserved a new picture. lol.

iyan and egusi soup: said...

hi ello,

a friend and i were just discussing beasts of no nation; i haven't read it yet.

Ello said...

FYI - I knew you would like my disclaimer! ;o) What lawyer wouldn't it?