Monday, 17 October 2011

Maybe I'm just mean.

During the past month, a handful of members of the writing group that I joined have been submitting their attempts at the homework.  I don't know how other groups work, and being new to this whole thing, I think that this group's aim aim is to critique the work that's been submitted so that the author can see the weaker areas, and going forwards, learn how to strengthen them.
Last month was the first meeting that I'd been to.  It was very friendly, and they seemed to take the critiques well.  I thought tthe task of critiquing would be fun.  You know, looking at their work, suggesting where it could be improved, and telling them where I thought it was strong.  It turns out to be a lot tougher than I realised!

The problem that I have, is that the work is personal.  They have obviously submitted their best efforts.  I found the stories entertaining, but could see where they needed work, and have penned a few notes to highlight this.

I'm now dreading tonight's meeting.  Am I being too harsh?  Did I not point out enough (or any) positives? Will they take it personally, seing as they don't really know me?

I am under no illusion that I will probably get a slating for my attempt at the homework, but I'm expecting that.  I know that I can use it to tighten my skillsets.  Hopefully they are of the same mind.

If I'm honest, I'm seriously considering saying that I didn't get time to review them.  :os


  1. I hate to say it, but that's just part of the business. Learning to accept feedback is an important step--one none of us can afford to skip. Then again, maybe I'm mean, too... *grins*

    Just keep your critiques balanced, and you'll be fine. :)

  2. Hello Iain! I agree with Carrie. Keep your comments balanced and always look for something someone has done well, even if it is just enthusiasm. Learning to accept criticism, and even seeking it out, is totally part of the process of becoming the writer you want to be. I hope the class goes well!

  3. Carrie - You are so right. I think I was just being a little bit cautious.
    It's good to know that there's a fellow 'meanie' out there :o)

    Jayne - Thanks for the support. It went really well after all :o)