Hello Ebi! Hello Fam!
Last month, I was binge-watching Watchmen on HBO. The fourth episode is called “If you don’t like my story, write your own.” It made me wonder, how many of you have been compelled to say that after receiving an unnecessarily mean critique of your work? Since my exposure to the wonderful world of writing, e.g., publishing, reviews, editing, proofreading etc. I have found that some critiques are two-sided. They can either offer direct but kind words of encouragement – allowing the writer to see what needs improvement or be cruel enough to cut a writer to the bone – leaving them wilted like a dead flower.
On Twitter a few days ago, an editor complained about being stalked by a bitter writer who took great offense to comments made on their work. The negative behavior was so bad that she had to block this person and report them. I said not long ago that writers must develop tough skin for this kind of work. There will always be one that gets off on another’s misery – writer or editor. But YOU as a writer can either take everything he/she says to heart, pick out the things that may benefit you (after you get over your initial fury) or disregard this person’s comments entirely.
It took me some time to realize that we give individuals power over us and our craft. If writing is what you want to do, no one should be able to deter you from that path. I have veered off my road before, only to come right back because my MC would not tolerate it. Not to mention, I could still hear the echoes of supportive comments from friends, instructors, and others who told me that my story needed to be shared.
Why put so much work into creating your characters, only to let them die without sharing their story? Why let a sour person, douse your joy? You choose the books you read and are therefore entitled to your opinions. If you feel that you can do better, why not write your own? Show the world how it should be done.
If you are an editor, remember that you were once in the writer’s position – pushing down fear and exposing yourself to another’s opinions. Remember that it is a privilege to read someone else’s work regardless of how good or bad you may think it is.
Have you ever received a bad review of your work? Have you ever critiqued someone’s work harshly and later on regretted the way it was done? I welcome you to share your story.
Thanks for visiting and Ibukun! (Blessings)