I didn’t really know what I was doing with my life when I started this website. On one hand I thought it was a decent way to show off some of the cool games I’ve made and provide a place to discuss my analysis of games and game mechanics, but I also wanted to be able to show off some really cool projects about which I’m exceptionally proud. However, as I sat down to create it and began putting some work into it I found I was struggling a bit on how I wanted to do certain things. Unable to decide what I wanted to do, I turned to my friends and family and asked about their opinions, sadly forcing me to attempt to describe this amalgam of random stuff. In the end I settled on a description of “sort of a visual portfolio to showcase my stuff but also sort of a blog but also sort of a creation of random stuff I like and sort of private but also kind of public.” My sister and I narrowed this down to a website about my lifetime achievements (although I’m still not sure how accurate that really is), but, when I began telling people that was the general theme of my website, I had one person about whom I care quite deeply tell me “Lifetime achievements? What lifetime achievements? You haven’t done anything.” Needless to say, that hurt. I was, and am, still quite proud of the things I have done and to have someone say that to me was about as disheartening as this could get. If I had someone like that say something like that to me, maybe the entire endeavor was a waste of time. Maybe there was no point to even bothering because maybe nothing I had done did matter. This left me somewhat depressed because it made me believe my work was worthless and unimportant.
After a while, however, I realized that what they had said wasn’t what really mattered. What they had said was something anyone could have said and, in most cases, was likely true. The things I’ve done do not or will not matter to many people; most people will look at my work and say “who cares?” However, if we listen to criticism like that, no one would ever accomplish anything. Every project or creation a person makes is going to be attacked or treated poorly or made out to be worthless; that is not important. What is important is how the project makes you feel and whether you take pride in what you’ve done. If you feel like you have done an exceptional job, regardless of how others belittle your work, take pride in it regardless. Show it off to others because, in the end, if you don’t show off what you’ve done and you don’t take pride in the things you’ve accomplished, no one is going to do it for you.
I guess my point is criticism can come from any source and when the words are not meant to support and push you (the core difference between aggressive criticism and constructive criticism), then the criticism is simply not worth acknowledging. If the project you have completed makes you feel pride and makes you feel accomplished, then showing that off to others lets them see a little more of yourself and lets you share a part of what makes you you with someone else. Take pride in your work and show it off because it means a lot to you and that’s exactly the kind of work you should be doing – work about which you feel passionate and care deeply – because that’s how you get to show yourself to the world, regardless of the criticism you might receive. Be proud of the things you’ve accomplished.