Thursday, February 16, 2006

The Ever Deflating Ego...

My father always told me that criticism is a good thing, and that one should always be able to take it. In the end, it will help make you a better person. Character building.

However, it is possible to have a too much criticism, when it eventually starts to erode levels of confidence in your own abilities.

Take, for example, my Journalism course. I am all for receiving comments and criticisms for pieces of work, but it has to be substantial. "You need to do that differently" is not a sufficient answer. After about 8 attempts to get one particular article ready to go, I am still none the wiser what it is exactly that I've been doing wrong.

Coupled with ever-decreasing grades for pieces of work I was originally proud of, some serious thought has gone into trying to figure out why on Earth I thought journalism was the direction I should go down.

True, I've been writing for various school and university papers since I was 16, but let's be honest and admit that the level of sophistication is hardly noteworthy. Indeed, I spent much of my time on Marlborough College's Newssheet, contemplating the finer things of college basketball and whether or not Wicca was evil. Hardly the stuff of Pulitzers or even The Sun.

My own music magazine, MWRI (now on the web - see profile for link), was received relatively well by labels and PR - at least, that's the impression I got - and many appreciated the long album reviews. A contrast to the rather pithy, 20-word reviews you normally get in the press. But here, my reviews are apparently rather lacking.

The wide skill-gap is obvious in the class, but when your grades fall to the same level as people who can't speak English, you have to start asking yourself certain hard questions.

I guess I can kiss the PhD goodbye...

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