For the most part I can take critique. I can. In my 20s I was terrible at taking it but somewhere in my 30s I gained an appreciation for good critique — people telling me things that could make whatever it is I’m doing, better. For many people, and for me up until recently, critique usually comes from just a select few – a friend reading your article, a partner going over a story, a kid giving feedback on how exactly you could make dinner edible. But that’s changed. When you publish something like a magazine, your critiques come from all over, all the time.
And I should be okay with that. But since I’m also a person that likes to please everyone, getting feedback from dozens, hundreds, thousands of spinners can be a bit tough on the brain, you know? It’s impossible to please all those people but what about when your brain constantly tries?
I’m not complaining or whining. Really, I’m not. I’m looking for advice on how to deal with this internally, in my own head. I intellectually realize that I can’t possibly make every spinner happy. I totally realize that. But sometimes my brain is sneaky, uncontrolled, and it still wants to. And so when I get emails from spinners that think the print is too big, or too small, or that there should be less photos and more content, or that they’d like to see more big photos, or that there’s not enough weaving/crochet/knitting, or that they like the themed issues but only if they are interested in the theme, or that they’d like more advanced and technical articles, or that they’d like more beginner articles, or that they’d like it to be cheaper (I can’t fix that one without adding more ads), or that they’d like their mail carrier to deliver it quicker, or a hundred other things that I get emails about, my brain obsesses a bit.
Okay, who am I kidding? It obsesses a lot. I know it’s not rational. I do. But I can’t help it. I write and rewrite a response to them in my head for hours, sometimes all day. I can’t get past it. Some of my responses want to give them what they want, some are defensive, some explain in way more detail than anyone would want why I just can’t do it, or how it’s a delicate balance, or how on and on in my head.
I’m not looking for anyone to say that they shouldn’t write me, I’m glad that people do write, I actually value every email I get (except the very mean ones, but those only come in occasionally, twice a month or so), I’m just trying to figure out how to deal with it all.
Anyone have any ideas? Anyone have to deal with this kind of thing – being a people pleaser and hearing from lots and lots of people the various (and contradicting) ways to please them?
Jillian told me before I started the magazine that it would break my heart. It hasn’t broken my heart yet but it’s threatening to break my head! Actual advice very much appreciated!