Praise and Criticism

When I went to the premiere of my documentary about World War II, I felt so good about the final product. The town held a lovely premiere where people dressed up and there was a buzz in the air. PBS was ready to pick up the film to air nationally. And I stood in the back of the theater as I watched people enjoy the film.

But the moment the movie was over, the very first person out of the theater came up to me upset that her husband’s story was not one that was chosen in the final cut.

At that point in my life, I knew to expect praise and criticism. And I also knew that the film was a success because I helped people gain some insight into World War II and it also gave the survivors a platform to tell their story.

Over the years of creating music, films and blog posts, I have seen my confidence build with success, but I’ve also gained the understanding that it’s not always the response of a project that makes it a success. Instead, before I even take on or begin a project, I ask myself, who will be better because of this?

As long as I can satisfy myself with that, then it’s not predicated by someone liking my work or it receiving awards. If my work, whatever it is, can make someone better then all the other noise falls away, and I know that I am making something for the right reasons.