Sorry, folks. I wrote this post and it disappeared. Don’t know where it went. Don’t know how. Just that it’s lost somewhere in cyberspace. So, here it goes again. Hope this time it stays. Of course, this won’t be a literal repeat of my first post but it’ll be the gist of it. It’s about criticism. (Is that why it disappeared? Hmmmm.)
One of the nice things about being a ghost writer and writing confession stories is that there is no criticism because they are written anonymously. No author name, no criticism. Doesn’t work that way when your name is on the manuscript. All kinds of people let writers know what they did right. And wrong.
I once took a commercial story I’d written to a literary writers’ group I belonged to. They critiqued my manuscript and their criticism would have been very appropriate if I’d wanted my story to be published in a literary journal. But I didn’t. I never again took a commercial story to them to be critiqued because I knew that if I followed their suggestions, I’d have a very short career as a writer.
I’ve also had my work critiqued by editors. Occasionally, when I’d send in a manuscript, it would be returned with scribbed notes in the margins letting me know what subtle things they were looking for that I hadn’t provided. Believe me, I listened and the next time I sent those editors a manuscript, they got what they wanted because I wanted to be a professional writer.
Next time someone critiques your work, ask yourself some questions. Who are they? What’s their background? Why did they say what they did? Consider whether they are giving criticism that’s valid for your particular work.
Because maybe their criticism was valid. Maybe not.