I’m Sorry, But I Can’t Apologize. Neither Should You.

I’ve been so blessed by anyone and everyone who has read one of my novels. It’s beyond an honor and sometimes impossible to even comprehend that people are holding something in their hands that I once sat in front of a computer and tried to create.

For the most part, the stories receive wonderful reviews. For the most part. But there are always going to be a few who don’t like what I have to say or the way in which I say it. That’s okay.

The critique isn’t about the way I write. Nobody (to my knowledge) has ever said that I can’t write. Or that I suck at putting words together or telling a story. The critique usually comes more from certain parts they didn’t like or there was too much “message”.

What I mostly hear or read in the critique is: “I wanted…”. “I wanted ____ to happen.” Or “I wanted to feel _________,not ________.” Or “I wanted more ______ and less ______.”

I won’t lie and say it isn’t painful when someone tells me they didn’t like something I put so much heart into, but I certainly understand where they are coming from and sometimes I even agree with them. But ultimately what it boils down to is that I can’t apologize for any of it.

I can’t apologize for content. I write what God gives me. Period. There are a lot of instances when I want to write something differently because I think it will make the story more romantic or emotional or exciting, or… but I just can’t. I’m not writing the book to just give romance… or to tell a good story. And therefore…

I can’t apologize for the message. Every story I write has a message to it. An overall theme that everything, and I mean everything, must fall into. I see the message run throughout the work and it all falls into place as to why certain things happen the way they do, even if it was against what I wanted (just as in life). It’s because there was a purpose to it. A bigger picture.

I can’t apologize for that and I can’t please everyone.

And neither can you.

Let’s face it, when you stand for something, anything, someone isn’t going to like it. They aren’t going to like the way you do it or the way you say it or the fact that you believe it at all. But that doesn’t change the fact that it is. And their critique doesn’t make you wrong or bad or ….

If you try to give in to the pressure of what “they” want, guess what? Someone else will then take issue with you… maybe you’ll even be one of those people and take issue with yourself.

God didn’t put us on this planet to please man. He put us here to please Him. For us to do His will – what He has called us to do. We can’t do that if we’re consumed with worry about other people not liking what it is we have to say or how we choose to say it. As long as we’re doing our part, and coming at it from the right place (in love, kindness, with mercy, without judgment, not out of pride, etc) then we have nothing to apologize for.

Either we stand for something or we don’t. Either we believe we’ve been called to a higher purpose, or we don’t. If we do, then we have to expect the critique/criticism to come. We have to prepare to take our stand and say “No matter what, I can’t apologize because I have nothing to be sorry for.”

Sometimes I think we’re in the trouble we’re in because people refuse to rise up and take a stand for what they believe. We’re all sitting around waiting for someone else to go first. Well, I want to be that person that gets up. That takes a stand for what God has placed in me. I want you to be that person too. This world needs us to be the person that stands up…. and doesn’t sit right back down at the first attack.

Don’t be afraid to do something because of a someone. As long as you have THE one on your side, the others don’t matter.

Let the criticism come. Let others question your motives. Maybe in the question, you’ll be able to give them the ultimate answer…

 

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2 responses

  1. AuthorChristopherLong | Reply

    Stefne,

    A very wise man — my writing mentor, once advised (and urged) me to NEVER apologize to ANYONE for my work — despite receiving more than a few scathing reviews of my first book, in 2010. He was right, and so are you. Aside from us artists, probably few people can truly relate to your open and honest sentiments here, but I certainly can. Thanks for sharing.

    -Chris

    BTW, the reviews that I’ve read regarding your work are pretty darn stellar. Congrats, and keep up the good work!

  2. I’ve been of a mindset these days that if someone is not criticizing you then you’re doing something wrong…or maybe you’re not doing enough. And it’s good to remember we are all individuals with different feelings, interests, and emotions. We are not all going to like the same things…and what a BORING world if we did! I’m so glad you listen to Him alone. He’ll never stear you wrong! You Rock!

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