The hard truth we all sometimes need.

Memoir of a Writer

Let me explain.

When I first decided to pursue writing seriously (as in put my all into something that might not give me any return) all I wanted was someone to tell me that I was making the right decision. I didn’t know if I was good enough at writing to make it my career choice.

My entire way of thinking was wrong, but I’ll get back to that.

What I actually needed was someone to tell me my writing sucked. Because it did, and hey sometimes if I’m in a hurry it still does. (I’ve had to delete a few blog posts due to my hastiness.)

Pretending someone is better at something than they are is detrimental to their growth, especially while learning a craft. My biggest pet peeve in workshops are when people are so nice that the person whose work is getting critiqued thinks that their work…

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11 Comments on “Hey, Your Writing Sucks

  1. I don’t necessarily agree. Their point is very solid however.

    Yes as a creative, you need someone to be honest about your work. They don’t have to say it sucks for that to happen. They can understand your intention and tell you which holes you need to plug in without having to say “Hey, your story sucks”

    NOW, while sometimes, (more often than not at the beginning of a craft) it might suck, I personally feel that anyone critiquing it has to be able to point out the flaws without making a statement that is generally negative. Not everyone can perform and fine-tune under negative criticisms.

    But I haven’t seen positive criticisms fail so far.

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    • Well that’s true, and honestly I usually try to be… at least civil in my advice? However, I needed someone to give me the proverbial slap upside my head when I was trying to get my first book published.
      Back then, I was stupid and inexperienced. Without someone telling me that my book needed a hell of a lot more work, in a way that I’d actually listen, because I’d convinced myself that it was perfect… I probably wouldn’t be published today.

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      • Very fair point.

        I’d like to assume when they told you about it, while straight to the point, it wasn’t negatively affecting your passion to write, right?

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      • “Jim, get your head out of your @$$ and look at these blatant errors!”

        Painfully blunt, but no, it didn’t affect my passion. In fact, when I start editing my books, that’s the first thing I think of.

        Liked by 1 person

      • And that, dear fellow writer… Is why I disagree with “your writing sucks” as a form of critique

        😉

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  2. I don’t necessarily think feedback needs to be given in such a negative way. It’s possible to tell someone their writing needs improvement or could be made better in a way that’s constructive and beneficial. Honesty is absolutely necessary when writing and sharing your voice and vision, and I’m glad you have people who can be honest. But when someone is overly negative and critical, it can have the opposite effect and make someone not want to ever do something again. I’m glad you know how to accept the negative criticism along with the constructive. And I very much enjoy your writing and love that you are willing to grow and evolve as a writer.

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  3. Yes, yes, yes…I love what you are saying here. The feedback does not need to be cruel but it needs to be authentic. If there is room for improvement, the person receiving the honest feedback will benefit, if they are willing to receive it in good faith. Thank you for sharing this. ~ Blessings, KK

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I’m on a critiquing website. I posted my first chapter about a year ago. I was nervous, but quietly confident it would be acclaimed. It was shot down in pieces and I was shown the error of my ways. They were all absolutely right and I was thrilled to be pointed in the right direction.

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  5. Reading through the dialogue I noticed a few things. Everyone has different genres that they like. Even within the same genre you have favorite authors. So, just because a few people say that it sucks doesn’t mean that it does.

    Second, I just self published my book in paperback and on kindle without even looking for an agent. Only a few people have read it that weren’t friends, and I can track that online through kindle. The formatting is in no way perfect, but I did it, and it’s an accomplishment, and all I wanted to do is for it to get attention. I want someone to see it and polish it up.

    Before I did publish I asked various friends that are in different careers, some that are left brained, right brained, male and female to read parts, or manuscripts. Some were already published in magazines or have published books. Get the feedback you need from real people, not just from other writers. They can be pretentious in some ways. You friends will tell you straight that if it needs an edit or if something is confusing.

    That’s the best advice that I can give.

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  6. I agree with this post so much. I have friends who read my work since I’m not at your level yet, and some of them just say all of it is “great.” I appreciate if they like my stuff, but it can’t all be at the same level, otherwise I don’t know what the strengths and weaknesses of the writing are! Thankfully, one has become comfortable enough to start giving me negative feedback

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  7. I have a weird response: When someone tells me that my writing sucks (in those words, actually), I concentrate even more on writing; however, if I get too much praise, I lock up and can’t write anything for a day or so.

    The thing is, I don’t think to myself, “That critic is a moron”. I just let it go. I concentrate on the butt of the elephant in front of me, so to speak…

    Liked by 1 person

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