Thursday, January 24, 2008

Bloody (Brilliant) Critiques

I got a particularly bloody critique of chapter three from a member of my crit circle! How exciting is that!! When I printed it out, it was six pages long!!!

Bloody critique--exciting? How can this be?

Really it is. What it means is, someone whose writing I respect, took the time (considerable it seems) to really pick apart the chapter. She had fantastic advice on a number of issues. One in particular that made me slap myself on the forehead. I can't believe I missed something so obvious.

This highlights for me two things I have learned about writing (about anything in fact).

1. Be open to critiques - When someone takes the time to really give you their opinion, be open to it. We are busy people. So it means something when people care enough to (in a kind way) give you suggestions on improving your work.

2. Don't work in a vacuum. Seek out support. - Obviously this relates to the first, but I think it needs emphasising. It is so easy to be blind to your own writing and shortcomings. Don't wait for someone to point them out. It is much easier if you ask someone to point them out. Then it is your idea, not theirs.

So get out there. Take some risks. Ask someone's opinion. It may be bloody painful, but in the end it'll be well worth it.

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