My Writers Circle

Writing => The Writers Circle => Topic started by: Wolfe on June 25, 2008, 05:15:31 PM

Title: Itís Not Personal
Post by: Wolfe on June 25, 2008, 05:15:31 PM
Sensitivity and the writer hold hands.  Authors bristle when agents send form rejections.  They wonder why feedback or the reasons for the rejection fail to appear.  Writers say they can handle it, they have thick skin, they desire the feedback.

Are you sure?

Understand this:  Publishing will cut you apart and expect you to thank them for it.  Handholding doesnít happen.  You can forget coddling.  And most will never get published.  Yes, itís harsh.  But itís also reality.  Dreams get bashed against the wall everyday in publication.

But realize the criticism or rejection doesnít mean a rejection of the writer.  Itís not personal, but too many writers take it so.  When you receive a critique, realize the person took the time to do this.  Theyíre attempting to get you closer to the best within you.  And believe it or notóthe best critiques are negative.  After all, what can you learn if itís all sugar and sweet?  I know it hurts, but you pick yourself up and learn from it.  Itís not the opportunity to vent, and thereís the reason why few agents give feedback because the amateur believes itís appropriate to retaliate.

Donít do it.

Agents, editors, publishers, and published writers have long memories.  Theyíll remember you if you decide to show your proverbial rear in a rage mail.  Thatís one door you donít want slammed in your face.  Be thankful, yes even if you disagree, because you never know when youíll need help again.  Itís a small world, and an even smaller publishing world.  The hand you bite today might be the hand that wouldíve given you a huge leap in your career tomorrow.

Never give up your writing or your dreams, but never take it personally and lash out.  It will come back to haunt you.


Title: Re: Itís Not Personal
Post by: Andrewf on June 25, 2008, 05:23:05 PM
Yup...  and be grateful to those who do take the time to give their critique.

Especially if it happens to be an editor, publisher or agent, as they probably feel that your work has merit and warants further attention if they are willing to give you a personal message.
Title: Re: Itís Not Personal
Post by: ma100 on June 25, 2008, 06:13:42 PM
What you say Wolfe does make sense. It is hard and hurtful sometimes but if you want to improve
you need good helpful critiques and not take it personaly.

Crikey! I will probably have a good cry but I do know I need to get better. The only way to do that
is to have my weaknesses shown to me.  :)
Title: Re: Itís Not Personal
Post by: Akeith (Gray) on June 25, 2008, 07:04:43 PM
Well stated, Wolfe.

It seems to me that (in this setting of a forum on an internet site) none of us know each other well enough to take offense on a personal level. Don't we write words to be read? And if so, isn't the reader anyone of the public domain, whether it's family, friends, or strangers?

I have asked before and so I will again: how can any critique be considered negative if the aim of such is to provide assistance with what has been written. It is my understanding that this is the primary goal of this forum. Personally, I do not have any experience with other ones. I have found a great deal of help and enlightenment here.

I am most appreciative of any comments I have received, even when I was told one of my poems was not a poem. Looking back at it, after the time I have spent here, I can agree wholeheartedly.


Title: Re: Itís Not Personal
Post by: Nadine L on June 26, 2008, 04:24:03 AM
All true, nonetheless, we are writers and we should be able to word our posts better than I've seen this last month. We certainly wouldn't "talk" to industry pros like we sometimes talk to each other. Most of the time, cheeky isn't really funny. Some of us know each other for real, but largely we don't. Being helpful doesn't have to draw blood. It is a big tough industry and we need to give a helping hand without a slap included. Most of us come here after a long day at work. Not always in the mood for more headbutting. Just a thought.

Title: Re: Itís Not Personal
Post by: ma100 on June 26, 2008, 04:36:23 AM
Okay I am probably going to cry like a baby and pack my pens and pencils for life but...I am never going to get any better unless I get an insight into what to expect.  :'( Wolfe if you would care to rip my Over the hills story to pieces ;) do an edit. I promise in front of this global audience that I won't take it personal.  Gawd!! I must be a masochist.

Even since writing it I have started to find a few iffy bits so I will ask one of the mods to move it to RWB when you are ready.

Title: Re: Itís Not Personal
Post by: Big T on June 26, 2008, 04:44:49 AM
Thank you.
Some of the best advice I've seen.
I categorise myself as 'most unlikely to be published'.
That does not stop me from taking criticism about my work.
I appreciate what MWC and its members have done to some of my stuff.
How can I hope to improve if I am not prepared to listen?
Title: Re: Itís Not Personal
Post by: ma100 on June 26, 2008, 05:48:40 AM
Blimey !! And I am still alive to tell the tale. ;D Thank you Wolfe I will go over all the points you have raised and get back to you. ;D
Title: Re: Itís Not Personal
Post by: Solitaire on June 27, 2008, 09:55:13 AM
Wolfe's words are wise.

As far as criticism on content and style go, critics are entitled to offer their opinions on the story, but it is good to remember that each critic's opinions are colored by their own unique experiences--and that they are opinions

As a writer, read the critique, work with the suggestions you feel are valuable, file the rest for future reference or into the oubliette.  The work being critiqued is yours, and you are the final arbiter of what works and doesn't in your story.   

Solitaire's opinion.   :)
Title: Re: Itís Not Personal
Post by: Donnettetxgirl on June 28, 2008, 09:58:43 AM
I think Wolfe is right on the money here. Rejections are not personal, & I think the one big mistake writers make is making it so. I think that's one of the main reasons writers give up submitting.

I did my first blog talk radio interview at the beginning of this month. Yeah, I was nervous & excited all at the same time. But, I hit on this subject because I felt it was so important for writers to know. You can't take rejection personally, you have to develop thick-skin, and you have to learn to take criticism well. Work with criticism & use it to become a stronger, better writer. The submitting process for me was so much more than just a process. It was an incredible journey. If you really pay attention you'll learn so much. Don't look at rejection like a slap-in-the-face. Look at it like a learning experience. It's like getting familiar with doing anything. Trial & error. If you keep an open-mind you'll learn what you're doing wrong, & learn ways to do it right. But, if you're shut-off to this experience, you're not going to learn the things you need to. It really is in the way you percieve it.

Donnette Smith
Author of Lady Gabriella