Most critiques about our work are subjective, which is a good thing. The bad thing is that we sometimes take them too seriously and let them depress us and make us feel shitty about our writing.
Now, I believe critique is necessary, especially when it is objectively true. However, I also believe some critique is quite unnecessary, and even uncalled for. Any form of critique that attacks the writer instead of the story itself is to be disregarded.
Look, we’re all human and we make mistakes, but to point it out and rub it in our face is not the way to make someone better; I believe the correct way is to look at the story and disassociate it from the writer. To explain where the story worked, where it failed, and how to improve both ends.
Any critique that uses “You” or even “the writer” in its explanation shouldn’t be banned but should be carefully applied. To use those two phrases recklessly can cause unnecessary emotional abuse toward the writer and discourage them from continuing in the profession.
Now, what I’m not saying, is that we should all be pussies and not be able to take some tough criticism. What I’m saying is that the one who critique put a bit more effort into separating the writer and the story; when you talk about the story, the writer is able to separate themselves and focus on taking in the message to make the needed changes.
When the writer themselves is addressed in the critique, it feels like their character is being attacked. That it is not their story but them that is being judged as a person for their viewpoints and ideas.
We all know people get defensive when they feel personally attacked and shut down, therefore not receiving the message. As the people who give the critique, we simply need to focus on the story so the writer can focus on the story and receive the message because that’s the most important thing.
For the writer, develop tougher skin, disregard critiques that address you as the writer in relation to the story rather than the story itself. Life is too short to be stressing over something someone said.
For critics, criticize the story itself and leave the writer out of it.
Alright, that’s my spiel. Til next week. . .