Sketching

Help Me If You Can

shootme

I am amazed how timely the WordPress prompts can be. I have just received a portion of criticism pointing out my issues with word choice and order, and here the prompt goes, “How are you at receiving criticism? Do you prefer that others treat you with kid gloves, or go for brutal honesty?”

I am pretty brave, I think. I don’t need kid gloves, I’m ok with honesty. Not because I am such a masochist and enjoy when someone trashes me (this is how negative remarks make us feel, and this is why we all prefer not to hear them), but because I want to learn and be better at what I’m doing. So if criticism is fair and helpful I welcome it. Shoot me!

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11 thoughts on “Help Me If You Can”

  1. I appreciate constructive (emphasis on that word) criticism as well, for the same reasons you state. I rather envy you that you got some, as I have even gone out of my way to get some comments on a short story I posted and … nada. I mean, if you can’t get people on the Internet to tell you that you suck and why, where CAN you get it? 🙂

    1. I submitted my story (The Red Date) to the yeah write challenge, and their editor moderated me out and explained why. If you submitted there and didn’t receive critique that means you don’t suck at all 🙂 Not my case 😦

      1. I saw the challenge badge on that post but didn’t know what it was nor follow it. I have since corrected that and gone to the site… looks interesting. So, no, that’s not where I solicited comments but will keep it in mind the next time I’m feeling brave and/or masochistic. 🙂 And… ANOTHER place for writing prompts! Oy…

      2. I think you’ll enjoy their prompts 🙂
        Another thing that the editor recommends, and not only to me, is to find a writing partner. I quote her, “Sometimes an outsider can show us strengths and weaknesses in our work that we don’t see ourselves.” It sounds great, and I expressed my wish to find a writing buddy at the forum, but I assume one must be really enthusiastic about criticizing because it is easy to say ‘I like’ or ‘I don’t like’, but to be constructive and offer a carefully weighed opinion is a different story.

  2. I like honesty about my writing, but I like it tempered with a little humility as in the person giving it realizing that he or she might not always be right. I try to keep that in mind myself. AFter all, just because I read someone else’s work that way doesn’t mean that there isn’t a zillion other ways to “see” it.

    1. I agree, it’s hard to be objective, and there’s always a risk to misread someone’s work. That’s why I never hurry to judge. But if you are an editor then it is your job to judge, even though, of course, you still can make a mistake and misjudge.

      1. And the problem with teaching writing is that while something might not be working or might, in fact, be “wrong,” there are almost an infinite numbers of ways to fix things in writing. How we edit or correct affects how the piece will be revised and the ultimate shape of the final piece.

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