Thursday, September 24, 2009

Blockbusting for Writers Post 2: Taking Critique

On Tuesday, I submitted my most recent piece to workshop. I have since been stricken by a series of migraines which I can only assume are the result of this trauma. Before I lose all perspective, I must remind myself of a few truths:

• I am not the work. Nor is the work my child. The critique isn't personal.

• By allowing other people to read and comment on my work, I am freeing myself from the burden of having to do it myself. In other words, by letting someone else do the critiquing, I'm putting my inner critic out of a job. The task of judging my work becomes someone else's problem, not mine.

• This is not the first piece I have written, nor is it the last I will ever write. There's more where that came from. When I worked in product design, people would ask me: "aren't you worry that someone might steal your ideas?" And to that I would reply: "um, they're just ideas... there's always going to be more of them."

• I need to redefine my goals. If I go into a critique with the idea that I'm going to hand in something perfect, then I'm bound to be disappointed. But if my goal is to learn something from the process, then no matter what, I win.

In the end, it all comes down to this. Would you rather receive a pat on the head or meet a worthy adversary?

I am all about the worth adversary.


  1. I never take critiques personally. I love them! But, I will admit, they do make me second guess myself sometimes. It's easier to beleive in myself when no one is pointing out all the issues. : )

  2. Remember, the anxiety about the event is usually far worse than the actual event.

    But it is always a good goal to enter a situation with an open heart and mind, allow yourself to be vulnerable, and learn something from the process.