Monday, July 25, 2011

Stop being so nice! But don't be jerks...

I don't consider myself a writer. I write, yes, but not by trade or from a result of focused education to do so. I write because I feel better when I get words out of my head and onto the screen or on paper. I write for myself and have for years. It's only recently that I have began putting my writing out into the public realm. It can be a scary thing.

I took it a step further and started sharing in forums like Studio30 Plus, Indie Ink, and The Dude Society. I have learned so much from reading the amazing pieces that people have created and shared in these venues. I also realize that most of the time I am really out of my league when it comes to my writing vs. others.

I am lucky to have a group of fellow writers that continue to read what I put out there. I dare say that a few of them have become "friends" and a few have come to be friends outside of the interwebz. It's an awesome thing!

On thing these regular readers/commenters bring is support and encouragement. But because they are nice, I don't get a lot of criticism or critiquing. So when I do have someone offer criticism or point out flaws/room for improvement, my first reaction is "Ouch!"

My second reaction is "Thank you!" I have so much to learn and I want to be continuously improving my skills and finding ways to make my words more impacting and clear when that is my objective in writing such as by participating in the thinks like the Indie Ink Challenge.

For this week's II challenge I posted words around the prompt "Quicksand". I got a lot of great comments that let me know the feelings and intention I was trying to convey came across to the readers. Whew!

I also got a comment form a new reader. It was a reality check and although polite and ultimately hopeful of my "talent" also told me I could do better and it needed work. She was absolutely right and I even reached out in email to thank her for challenging me to step up my game and work through it to provide a better finished product. Her were her thoughts:

Grace O'Malley said...

The imagery is almost there. This is a good draft, but putting prose into short paragraphs does not turn it into a poem. I hate to be the only person saying this sort of thing to you, but you are talented and I don't want to just pat you on the head and move along.

You have the bones of a very sharp poem here! Now polish it until it can be used as a weapon.

As much as I enjoy all the positive comments I need comments like this to help me grow and hold me accountable to produce pieces worth reading.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not a big rule follower and most of my posts are just for fun and I feel comfortable throwing convention out the window and will continue to do so. But on formal writing and challenges where I a want to stretch and grow, I will keep the criticism in mind and try to step up my game.

So quit being so damn nice to me all the time and give me some constructive criticism to work from will ya?!? (Just don't be jerks about it...ok?)


  1. Maybe I'm just not as sharp as some other critics are? I read your posts and find little to no fault.

    If you're looking for a fine toothed comb, I may not be the right person, but I'll still try to keep from holing criticisms back.

  2. The best place to get good feedback is to go to a writing club, or take a course at a community college on creative writing. I did it and it was awesome.

    As for myself giving feedback on your writing. I suck at a couple things, poetry, sentence structure, spelling, grammar, the qwerty keyboard, paragraph content, rhythm and flow, and most of all, some days I can't even read.

    So I'd love to give you feedback but it just wouldn't feel right.

  3. I don't consider myself "experienced" enough to give you "good" crticisim. I think I may have made suggestions here and there in a few of your posts but that's about it. I agree with Not The Hero, as far as getting constructive feedback from writing groups and such. I belong to several and they help out tremendously with my writing.

  4. Like Lost in Idaho I enjoy your writing a lot. Here, at Dude Society and everywhere else.

    I'm glad you took this comment the way you did. It truly was a positive comment. I know I am not a great writer when it comes to sentence structure, grammar, etc. If someone wants to critique those things in a positive way I'm always open to hearing it.


  5. Constructive criticism. Hmmm. Are you really gonna drink beer before liquor? I'd suggest flip flopping the order...

  6. I have no real talent as any kind of writer, I just know if I like something or not. I can generally tell when words are misspelled, or misspelled on purpose. Beyond that, my grammar, sentence structure, etc. just suck. Keep doing what you're doing. I like it.

  7. I too read your posts because I like what you have to say. I'm no expert writer myself so who am I to judge or critique what you write about. Sorry!!!

  8. Grace is great. She loves writers and she loves good writing. I sent her something to critique and she layed out exactly what I needed to do.

    I enjoyed her construction criticism

  9. I am horrible with criticism especially when I consider the writing superior to my own. I am not that hard on myself, I write what I feel and post it. I am horrible with sentence structure, grammar, and punctuation but I know it and don't claim to be good at it. Comments like this are always helpful for me and I'm glad that you took it positively. :)

  10. And it's @Wow coming through for the great advice, go figure!
    But seriously, I read all of you on a regular basis and it's safe to say I'm a fan for sure so my feelings won't be hurt if you have a suggestion or a way that I can improve on something. I value your opinions... yes, all of them... as hard as that may be to believe! I think you have all earned BIG Randy kisses *MWAH*!!!

  11. Constructive criticism is always good when it is put in a nice way no one wants to hear from rude people who have nothing nice to say at all and just makes you think things like "piss off you moron"....

    I am not good at giving criticism myself I am always worried it will come out wrong and hurt someones feelings, it is something I have tried to work on for years but still worry when I say something negative to someone....

  12. Your writing is lovely, my darling. Writing is not made of words, it's made of feelings.


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