Thursday, July 19, 2012

Don't Take It Personally

When you ask for a critique on a story, essay, poem or whatever it is that you've slaved over until you felt it was picture perfect, you need to do so with the right attitude. First of all, remember that you asked for other eyes to peruse your story. Naturally, the hope is always there that the critiquer is going to tell you that the piece is wonderful as written, that it's ready to market. 

Nice dream, but it seldom happens that way. I've found that no matter how satisfied I am when I sub a piece, someone has a suggestion for something that can be added  or a section that might be eliminated. They suggest better wording here and there. They look at what I've written objectively.  

Once the critiquers have slashed through my story, I have some options. I can leave it exactly as it is. I can study all the crits I received (anywhere from one to several) and choose to make either some or all of the changes suggested. Key to seeing what needs changing is if several people point out the same problem area. Then, you can be certain that it needs work. 

If I ignore all the suggestions given, deciding that my way is the better way, I'm doing myself a disservice. As said above, I asked for assistance, and the critiques are meant to help me have a stronger story which will be more marketable than the original. 

I need to have my hard shell on, just like Mr. Turtle above. I need to let those remarks that might smart bounce right off. Any  negative comments made in a critique are not meant to hurt the writer, although when writers first start to receive critiques, that is often what happens. They take the criticism personally. Don't! It's not YOU they are criticizing. Instead, it's YOU they are helping. 

Accepting criticism of your golden words takes some practice. The longer you do it, the easier it becomes to accept. And remember this--critiquers also point out the things they like about your story. It's not all negative. A little attitude adjustment never hurts. 

How do you feel about putting your work up for critique? 

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