Wednesday, September 2, 2009
These Slippers Are Fuzzy Soft!
Maybe, too soft. Yesterday, I talked about dealing with criticism with thick skin. Today, I want to talk about when the shoe is on the other foot. (Hmm...apparently I mention shoes without even meaning to. Do you think I have a problem?) Just like we need a Kramer to be honest about our writing, our critique partners do too. We can't be soft when it comes to reading their work. It would be a disservice to them. Now, I'm not saying we need to go in and rip their work apart, but we do need to tell them honestly and openly what we feel isn't working. It isn't always easy. Pointing out faults in another person's writing is kind of like telling your best friend that her boyfriend is a low-life when yours isn't much better. But, it's what friends do, right? We owe it to our crit partners to be as honest as we can be, but we must do so in a kind and respectful manner. I like to start out with something positive, and then point out the negatives, and then return to something positive. This way, the first and last thing they hear is good, and the bad stuff is somewhere in between. This creates a positive vibe from the beginning, and allows things to end on a good note. I'm curious; do you find giving criticism just as hard as receiving it? If so, what approach have you found to be most effective for both the giver and the receiver?