Tuesday, December 7, 2010

On Poetry and Barbarians

Ok, I’d like to expand on my writing partner’s last blog.
When we get a negative response on one of our submissions Becky gets really bugged by it.
My take on the subject: so what? Not everyone is going to like everything. I don’t like poetry. If someone gives me poetry to critique I’ll do my best, but my overall response is going to be something like, “I don’t get it,” or “It didn’t rhyme.” Everyone knows I’m a barbarian with no appreciation for poetry. It doesn’t mean the poetry’s no good, it just means but that I don’t care for it.
There are a few reasons for a negative critique.

1.    Your writing is a piece of crap.
2.    Your critiquer doesn’t like that sort of material for one reason or another.
3.    That person just sat through a painful critique on their own literary masterpiece.
4.    They didn’t read it carefully.

Every critique is valuable, but I tend to average out the comments and set aside the odd comment. Don’t take things too hard. Don’t overthink things. Don’t dwell on the negative. Fix what you can and move on. Write what you want to write and say what you want to say in as precise and pleasant way as possible.
If you like it, great! If they don’t like it, so what?

1 comment:

Angela said...

I think I kind of fall somewhere between the two of you on this one.

I am sensitive to negative remarks to a degree--especially if it's something that I've worked on a lot.

But at the same time, like you said, not everyone is going to love everything. I certainly don't.

I think the key is to find a balance that works--if in your heart you feel that something is written the way it's supposed to be, then go with your instincts. If something feels a little off and someone else comments on it, well, then they're probably right.

...not that I know anything. Just my two cents. :)