Criticism - hard to find. Easy to find the sort you don't know what to do with.
I got stomach punched with criticism this week. It wasn't the message: it was the confusion. The author essentially told me the piece I had written had numerous grammatical errors and the example they gave me was a legitimate sentence.
Why do I write the blog? Initially it was to establish that platform a writer needs. I took a quiz on Facebook. Far from scientific, I know. I was typed a "lone wolf" as my high school archetype. Jeez Louise, how do I think I will ever create a platform.
I've gone to a writer's group and met some great people. A few have really touched my heart with their support. I've quit going because the group is so fluid. Plus I don't have time to do the tremendous reading that comes with work shopping other people's work.
This leads back to criticism. My uniform criticism is usually cut the words and to point out what left me hanging. You guessed it. People don't really want to hear what you suggest.
Back to the thorny nature of criticism, Where is the criticism coming from? Does the person know what they are talking about. I did not give feedback for a long time due to being unsure of my ability to critique.
The real reason I have stopped going is the fluid nature of the group. You see someone. You read their work. They never return. There are regulars who slog away at improving moral, reading and giving honest feedback, but I need to make friends. Working as a caregiver, I'm just isolated.
The blog has been fantastic in allowing me to create characters, develop ideas that will grow into larger pieces. Prompts from writing blogs have enabled me to pull stories out of my psyche and imagination. These prompts are hard to give up. So I will not.
What I do plan to give up are blog rolls for awhile. I like to look at what people choose to read. A natural selection process at work.
I go to a social Friday and Saturday in Columbus. I hope to meet other writers and possible friends. Its a lonely thing to leave the blog rolls and so many friends I've made. I know they aren't real friends but there is such a connection I've felt with fellow bloggers.
I can thank my acerbic critic. I will go back and revisit their criticism and the piece I wrote. There will be something to learn. Such as how a twenty something reacts to my work. After all, it is the next generation that will be my audience.
It's funny, one day you are the smart ass twenty something and then you are old. I can't complain. I was not a mouthy one but if thoughts could be heard. I was a piss ant.
A mix of thoughts, experiences, flash fiction, poetry and humor of Ann Bennett.
Thursday, June 5, 2014
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