I feel the thread might get misinterpreted as people demanding creators be happy all of the time, and frankly, reading over the OP, I can see that’s not the point of this thread.
Because frankly, you can be as quiet as a mouse and still not be self-depreciative. I feel a lot of people equate being confident in one’s work to being this vocal cheerleader who’s loud and bold. And that’s not always the case. Not everyone will express positive vibes in the same way, and that’s ok. No one is saying to not talk about anything that isn’t positive. We all should be comfortable to express our emotions and work through them, negative or positive.
However, the point of this thread is to address a behavior that’s not special to the creative community, but to a lot of us. We still have a number of people who think being confident in your work is arrogant.
They equate “yeah, I’m really happy with how this turned out” to “I’m obviously the best, no one else is better than me”.
I dunno about you, but I got two different tones of voices from both sentences. There is a difference.
At the same time, we have a number of people who think trashing yourself and your work is “humble”.
They equate “I still see ways to improve, but I’m glad I’ve gotten so far” with “I am trash, my work is trash, and you shouldn’t be complimenting anything I make”. There is a difference.
OP has given some good examples about that previously. Now, honestly, it’s not easy. These feelings are normal for some people more than others (for various reasons), so it’s not really easy to shift from that thinking. They can try to do positive thinking, and it just might not click for them. And frankly, if they’re doing comics for a hobby, they don’t have to keep up an appearance. They’re doing this for them first, and that’s gotta be respected.
But, at the same time, if you’re selling a product and you’re very intent on wanting people to consume your product, you can’t wonder why no one doesn’t bother to look when you have been constant in telling them “don’t bother looking”
As harsh as it is, sometimes, readers just won’t care enough to understand the reasons why a creator might refuse compliments or claim their work is trash. Some readers definitely will care and they will try and work with that creator. But not everyone will do this, and if they DO happen to, they won’t do it for long. Because unless they’re a close friend to the creator, it’s essentially a stranger relationship, and not everyone will give that much interaction to the stranger the same way they’d do for someone close. It’s harsh, but it’s true – I’ve been on the offense and defense of this.
It is a problem, and it’s a difficult one to solve. We have had those moments of self-doubt, some worse than others, and sometimes, trying those positive exercises don’t always help. But, at the same time, it’s unhealthy to constantly live in a state of negativity. Just as some claim you can have too much positivity, you can definitely have too much negativity. We all have to find that balance for ourselves.
How we do that?
Well, I can’t answer that for anyone else but me. I have my ways to combat self-doubt, and those ways may or may not help others. But I can say that those ways have made me feel confident in my work, in myself, and just in general. I can see where I need to improve, but I can also see the accomplishments I’ve done. And I think that’s really the goal of this thread.
It’s less about telling people to “be happy”, and more about addressing how to see your flaws without constantly trying to tear yourself down. Because it gets tiring after a while.
And again, you don’t have to be this loud cheerleader to do this. Confidence doesn’t have to be this outspoken thing. I might be loud online, but in real life, I’m super quiet. But even then, I know what I can and can’t do, and I just improve along the way. It’s really all I can do. And that’s all I can say now.