Think of any criticism, Each little bit of feedback, And every morsel of praise, As a little fish Swimming through a public pond. You are the fisherman Sitting in the boat above. Some days, you might decide To throw out a wide net Scooping up as many scaly swimmers As the knotted mesh can hold. Other days, you may want To cast a careful line Dangling it lazily into the water, Waiting for that single, perfect fish. Every day is different, As we are different. You may emerge Sweaty and callused From the intensity Of your labour. Or you may lay back And stare dreamily At the shapes The clouds make In the sky, Waiting for the tell-tale Tug on the line. Neither choice is wrong. There are many ways to fish. The main thing to remember Is that no fisherman Keeps every fish. The real art of fishing Isn't catching the fish. It's deciding which ones to keep. So, the next time You encounter a baited barb In the mouth of a steely-eyed fish Or the flurry of excitement In a swirling school, Remember: It is always a game Of catch and release. You can choose what you'd like To take home and fry up for supper, And what you would prefer To let swim peacefully away.
Note: At the moment, I’m pretty obsessed with The Gift by Edith Eger, which I’m about a third of the way through. In the part I read last night, she makes a comment about how it’s important to always make the choice of whether to keep/use or whether to release feedback or criticism. I though this was going to be a more standard piece of writing about writing, but it came out as a poem instead.