Nothing produces more bowel knotting terror in an author, than having their work critiqued.
For those of you who have no desire to produce any kind of prose, it is difficult to describe just how precious a piece of writing becomes when you have slaved and sweated and spent countless hours staring at a computer screen. Its almost like producing a child.
You know what happens to a Mamma her offspring are threatened…
But writing is not a sport for the soft of skin needing their ego’s stroked. If you want your work to improve you have to toughen up, buttercup, and take it on the chin when someone,( who knows what they’re talking about that is), tells you that some piece of your work isn’t working. Kinda like submitting your carefully crafted dish of food before the Masterchef judges.
I did mention the bowel knotting terror didn’t I? Just making sure…
But critiquing is a two-edged sword. When I joined the writing site Scribophile I was expected to critique other people’s work.
You end up doing this quite a lot. It takes a LOT of concentration, so much so, that you can sometimes find yourself going cross eyed with the effort.
It also starts doing weird things to your brain…
At the end of an afternoon of critiquing prose for fellow writers, I took a break to eat some food and read a book for fun. I was doing some comfort reading because my brain had flopped into a gooey sludge from ALL THAT CONCENTRATION! My book of choice was Tricksters Choice by Tamora Pierce.
I started reading.
Hm, she needs to tighten up that sentence…. things seem to be moving a little slowly here…Oh thats and effective metaphor… Yeah, I’d reword that…
WHAT IS HAPPENING TO ME??!!!
Holy Cow I’m critiquing Tamora Pierce!!!!!!!
I often wondered if the Masterchef judges have spoiled their palette’s so much with fine dining that they’re incapable of sitting down to a plate of ordinary egg and chips without feeling the need to critique the consistency of the egg and whether the flavours blend effectively.
Thankfully it wore off.
Like a mosquito bite…
So dear reader we can learn two things from this week’s scrawling.
- Always be thankful for any critique you get (even the mean ones – they still have a truth buried in the manure somewhere) because a lot of time and effort has gone into it.
- Never read a book right after you’ve been critiquing other peoples work. Watch Pokemon instead…