All criticism is not the same

Seth Godin
2 min readJan 5, 2021
Beware the amateurs

Some criticism comes from the well-meaning but misguided. They are afraid for you, and imagine that your life would be better if you weren’t rejected or even noticed. And so, they will express their fear by criticizing your dreams.

Some criticism comes from the broken-hearted. They are bitter about what happened to their dreams, and it’s easy (and perhaps a bit satisfying) to stomp on yours.

Some criticism comes from the ham-handed. They haven’t practiced the skill of criticism and even though they might have something to contribute, it’s not coming through.

and some criticism…

Some criticism is priceless. It comes from someone who understands the genre and has seen the dynamics at play. It is delivered by someone who feels the fear (for themselves and for you) but decides to show up regardless. It is offered with grace and care, preserving dignity without sparing the insight that you desperately need.

Here’s a simple test: Find a not-well-known but demonstrably proven piece of creative work. If you’re a screenwriter, take three pages from Casablance or Citizen Kane. If you’re a novelist, consider something from a beloved author in your field. If you’re a songwriter, grab the lyrics from a song that works but isn’t obviously recognizable…



Seth Godin

Founder of altMBA and Akimbo. Daily blogger, teacher, speaker, 20 bestsellers as well...