Praise in Relation to Creativity

Simply put, I believe praise can encourage creators to be creative, to a point. Praising someone’s skills in writing, music, critical thinking, whatever can encourage them to develop these skills further and to use them to create something new. Praising someone’s creative effort can encourage them to make it public or share it with others. Praise received after sharing can encourage the creator to create and share more.

But if someone receives too much praise, unless they’re one of those few sainted people, it goes to his or her head. And that can cause them to stop being creative and produce more of the same, stop feeling the need to create, disdain others’ work that does not receive the same level of praise as his or her own, or be jealous of others’ work that receives more praise.

This is where a healthy dose of criticism is necessary. We all need to be humbled from time to time, no matter how much it sucks. Being brought down can make you re-evaluate what you were doing before, make you see new possibilities and directions for your work, and help you appreciate and learn from others’ creations in order to improve your own.

So, like all things, praise is never always good or always bad. It should be in a balance with criticism. This balance isn’t necessarily 50/50 for all people, but depends on the creator and his or her confidence and creativity levels.

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