At what point do you critique your own work? Is it ever a good idea for the artist to become the critic? Or the playwright to become the reviewer, the author become the editor?
In most stages of the creative process, it is advised to turn off the inner critic or internal editor. Inner critics, although they may mean well, can still stifle the creative flow damming it up and making the creative river stagnant.
However, we can lose all perspective if we never take the time to look at our work with a well-trained, critical and realistic eye. We owe it to the time, work and energy we have put into the project to do this. If we canít be that person, we can actively find someone who is both willing and able.
If you are not this person we can use this as a defense when we start to criticize our work. Really, if we are not a trained professional in reviewing and rating the creative work we practice, we very well arenít in a position to rate our own are we? Our criticisms could be all wrong.
If we find ourselves to fit the description, or someone who just is not able to turn off her internal editor we can take a handy tip from artist and author Flora Bowley (Brave Intuitive Painting) who instructs her students to look at what is working within their creative composition rather than harping on what isnít.
What does this do for us? This method of focusing on what is working helps us grow in our creative gifts which, further allows us to make wise decisions in the future. With time and practice, our confidence will grow and we will become more likely to make braver choices with our creative journeys. This, of course, is anything but stagnant!
What about what you are doing wrong? How will you learn to correct your errors? As artists we are a sensitive bunch. We usually know all too well what we are doing incorrectly without needing to harp on it day in and day out. We tend to like to fixate however. Thatís why, if we are going to fixate, it is so much better to fixate on something positive. But there will be no missing the errors. We will still notice them and strive to correct them. The difference will be that we will not let them discourage us or hold us back.
The key to critiquing is learning to hold off as long as possible, having someone who is well-trained perform the edits/critiques, and then focusing on the positives while you apply the practical advice of how to fix any errors that might have come up from the professional review.