I read a recent post about being made ready for the real world and real rejection by getting tough critiques or learning the “truth” about your writing. Or rather the subjective truth, because we all know that writing in itself is subjective. Does that even make sense? I will step out of my soap box and say, hell no.
Why O why do we subject ourselves to that tough critique by a person who we know is going to crush us? Do we crave more pain? Do we desire salt in our wound only to learn the awful truth that we suck? Or is it to develop a thick skin as so many who give such tough critique claim?
And here I go with my drama queen self. Let me ask you this…Is it easier to mourn for a loved one who has died quickly or one who has died slowly through illness?
Is it easier for a youth exposed to violence to see someone gun down than it is for a youth who hasn’t?
I won’t depress you with other analogies. It is my belief that we can never be desensitized to death more so than we can be to an awful critique by someone with good intentions. It will hurt now as it will hurt if an agent passes and it will hurt when you’re published and you get an awful review. It will hurt period.
The lesson in all this is not to become desensitized to it but rather learn how to handle it. I think we all realize that ranting and raving will not do it. It is going to cut your career short. It is not attacking the critiquer, after all you put yourself out there knowingly and everyone is entitled to their own subjective truth.
My advice is find a critique partner who balances things out. Someone that can find both good and bad, someone who tells the truth in a way that doesn’t discourage. Are they helping you to learn how to handle rejection? No, they’re helping you to become a better writer.
I have to put a plug in for Juliette Wade and Janice Hardy for their awesome critique/ diagnostic posts.
As always, this is just my opinion. Take what works and trash the rest.