On Creativity and Criticism

Group member Bev participated in last year’s writing group and wrote an excellent guest post on what she learned about writing and about life from the chickens she raises on her farm.

In this post, Bev shares her ideas about a video of Dr. Brené Brown, professor of sociology and social work at the University of Houston, giving a talk to a group at 99u, a group whose mission is to “empower the creative community.”

This is a guest post from Beverly Dow, a member of this summer’s Online Writing Group:

I came late to social media. Born at the end of the Baby Boom (a circuitous way of saying I’m old), I have privacy issues. My younger friends finally wore me down, and I got on Facebook. For the most part, I agree with Betty White (who is even older) that Facebook is a colossal waste of time. Now and then, however, I come across something transformative. A friend posted a link to a TED talk by Dr. Brené Brown on vulnerability. I was hooked. Watched all her videos. Read her book, Daring Greatly. I won’t say I’m great at embracing vulnerability, but I now when I feel that discomfort, I tell myself, “Hey, I’m daring greatly. Good for me.”

As we start this writing workshop, I want to share this video of Dr. Brown talking to “sweaty creatives” about dealing with critics. The message is to get out of your own way. It isn’t about success or failure. It’s about having the courage to show up and get your ass kicked.

I can do that.

We can all do that! Thanks for sharing, Bev. Now, everyone: reserve the appropriate seats at your arena, and then walk up those stairs and do it.

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