One of the most annoying things about critique that so many writers desperately want it but fear it most of all. After all the headaches and arghs and stress we put into our fiction writing, we want some kind of external validation that it was worth it.
At least I do. Of course, you come across a lot of writers who wax poetic about the writing process itself and how creation is its own reward, but I bet deep down inside each of them would really love to hear, “wow! This is amazing!” From someone, somewhere at some time or another. I happen to love external validation. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy.
Problem with positive critique though is that it’s not manure, and I don’t mean bullshit. Well, hopefully, it’s not bullshit. When I talk about manure I mean fertilizer. Hearing, “wow! This is amazing!” after you have edited your short story or novel is the goal, but if you hear that too early there’s nothing to help you make it better.
Maybe, you think, it can’t get any better. If you go into professional writing and the critique process with that kind of attitude, you probably will never get any better. People who think their words don’t stink usually resist editing and don’t seek out new learning opportunities.
The topic of critique is fresh in my mind right now. As soon as I finish this blog post, I am going to go to the How Writers Write in 2015 class and see what the other students had to say about my assignment from last week.