MEH! Or Witch-hunt?

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11 Jun 2024
315

Unfair Criticism of Hardworking Writers: An Unseen Plague


Introduction


In the literature ecosystem, the craft of writing is often perceived as a labor of love, a meticulous process that demands time, creativity, and a profound connection to language. However, amidst the celebration of literary achievements, there exists a darker narrative: the unfair criticism targeted at writers who pour their heart and soul into their work. This phenomenon not only undermines the efforts of these writers but also casts a shadow over the literary community as a whole.

The Nature of Unfair Criticism


Unfair criticism of writers manifests in various forms, from a MEH to dismissive reviews to outright personal attacks. Such criticism often disregards the substance and context of the work, instead focusing on superficial aspects or subjective biases. This kind of feedback is not constructive but destructive, aiming not to improve but to diminish the value of the writer’s efforts.

What is a MEH?
It simply means uninspiring, unexceptional and used to express lack of interest or enthusiasm.


Let me digress a little.


Three months ago I stumbled on a friend who introduced me to the bulb platform and gave me a tour on the platform. I started writing, reacting and commenting, this exposed me to learning from alot of writers on the platform and I got several engagements. In a short time, I got addicted and I couldn't go a day without bulbing, I took note of every interaction and one day I got a MEH on my post which got me thinking, was it a bad post?

Several days past and this happend again so I decided to investigate who I had not impressed with my craft. Then I figured that a bulber was out to target my posts and paint it all with mehs😄.

I thought to myself, is this person a troll? Or maybe just not impressed with some of my posts. Then I checked the users name to find @Tronice01.

This is not an article aimed at this user/bulber negatively but to get the attention to understand his/her reactions on my articles as he/she has never given a constructive comment to support his/her reactions.

Another experience I had was a post where I got a MEH from @andrewsaul , he went further and added a comment on the article that it wasn't well arranged and the format didn't align. So I revisited and edited it from the feedback I got. 👍

I believe a good critic's evaluation does not only simply highlight negative impressions. It should also deconstruct the work and identify both strengths and weaknesses of the writer. It should examine the work and evaluate its success, in light of its purpose.

Reasons Behind Targeted Criticism


1. Jealousy and Insecurity:

One of the most insidious reasons for targeted criticism is jealousy. Fellow writers or critics may feel threatened by the success or originality of a writer, leading them to undermine the writer’s accomplishments through harsh and unwarranted critique.

2. Cultural and Social Biases:

Writers from marginalized backgrounds often face disproportionate criticism due to cultural, racial, or gender biases. These biases reflect deep-seated prejudices within society that unfairly judge the merit of a writer’s work based on their identity rather than their talent.

3. Misunderstanding of Genre or Style:

Literary tastes are subjective, and what resonates with one reader may not with another. Critics who lack an appreciation for certain genres or experimental styles may unfairly dismiss the work of writers who innovate within these spaces.

4. Personal Vendettas:

In some instances, personal conflicts between writers and critics can spill over into professional realms, leading to biased reviews that aim to settle scores rather than provide fair assessments.

Negative Impact on Society


The repercussions of unfair criticism extend beyond the individual writer, affecting the broader literary community and society at large.

1. Discouragement of Talent:

Persistent unfair criticism can demoralize writers, particularly those at the beginning of their careers. The fear of unjust negative feedback may stifle creativity and discourage talented individuals from pursuing their craft.

2. Cultural Homogeneity:

When criticism is driven by biases, it can contribute to a homogenized cultural landscape where only certain voices and styles are deemed acceptable. This undermines the diversity that is essential for a rich and dynamic literary tradition.

3. Distortion of Public Perception:

Unfair criticism can shape public opinion, leading readers to form misguided judgments about a writer’s work. This can result in talented writers being overlooked or mischaracterized, ultimately depriving readers of valuable literary experiences.

4. Erosion of Constructive Discourse:

Constructive criticism is vital for the growth and evolution of writers. When unfair criticism becomes prevalent, it erodes the foundation of constructive discourse, replacing meaningful feedback with negativity and hostility.

Conclusion


The craft of writing is a delicate balance of passion, discipline, and resilience. Writers who dedicate themselves to their art deserve fair and thoughtful consideration of their work. Unfair criticism not only diminishes their efforts but also harms the literary community and society by perpetuating biases and discouraging diversity. It is imperative for critics, readers, and fellow writers to foster an environment where constructive feedback thrives, ensuring that all voices have the opportunity to be heard and appreciated on their own merits. In doing so, we not only uplift individual writers but also enrich the cultural fabric of our society.

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