Monday, May 12, 2014

How About A Hug?

There are times when writers could use a hug. It might help when another rejection comes rolling your way. Or when a project seems stuck in the middle and you can't get finished. Or when inspiration doesn't come no matter how hard you try to entice it to happen.

Another time I would be happy to have a hug is when someone gives me a negative critique which occurred yesterday.On Mother's Day!  I know the person was not trying to hurt me in any way--she's a good friend actually. But she did find a whole lot of things wrong with a new children's story I'd submitted to my online critique group. As I read through the list of things she didn't like or had trouble accepting, I started to deflate. Sure could have used a hug then. I also knew that this person gives an honest, but fair, look at everything she critiques. It still left me feeling a bit down.

But only hours later, another member of our group critted the story. She had someminor suggestions but said she thought it only needed some polishing and should be ready to go. That lifted my spirits quite a lot.

Even so, I still need to look at both critiques carefully and see what I agree with or, what ways I might change the story. I'm also going to wait and see if more people crit this one and see who lands on which side. Heavy on one side will tell me to pay closer attention to what is said in the majority.

The point here is that not all people will give the same type of critique. For one thing, every person who critiques is not at the same level of writing in their own life. The more professional or more published writer is probably going to have a little more insight so they might be a little more picky. Even the critiquer's own personality is going to enter in. If they are a detail oriented person, they're going to look more closely at details. If they tend to be an upbeat personality, they will probably look for as many positives as possible. And the same in reverse.

Don't settle for one critique on your work. Even if you're not in a crit group like I am, ask at least 2, and 3 is better, of your writer friends to do a crit for you. If there are more negatives than positives, heave a huge sigh and start revising and self-editing. Then write and ask me for a hug!

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