If You Say My Writing's "Good," I Will Punch You in the Face
This entry is dedicated to Dylan Lenz.
Some writers like criticism while others, not so much. But each one of us LOVES feedback because it helps us see what we’re doing right and what we’re doing wrong. However, there are very few of us who want are work brutalized, thrown in the shredder, burned before our eyes, every third word crossed out, and told that are sentences suck. Though this might cause many writers to commit suicide or call their mother and cry for four hours asking why they suck, the very few of us who love this criticism will praise you. We might mouth it or just tell you directly, “Thank you.” Because as struggling writers, this is what we need, to be told our writing sucks. It might seem a bit ironic but it’s not. Once our work is brutalized, it helps us look at the components that were missed and helps us fix them. Of course, if we disagree with what you’ve written, we can always dismiss you. We are the writers of our own work. If you’re going to tell us our writing’s “good,” at least explain why. What worked, what didn’t? If you say, “it’s all beautiful. You’re brilliant. I love it,” I will punch you in the face because that doesn’t explain WHY it’s good. And to be honest, if everything worked and flowed nicely, I’d probably not be asking you to critique it now, would I? The writers I’m writing about are not people who are published. We’re no Ernest Hemingway, no Robert Frost, and no Tennessee Williams, so don’t tell me I am. Yes, maybe I am, but that’s not the point. I can’t be because I’m not famous or well known but would like to be. EVERY writer wants this, but it takes time, effort, and money. So next time you read my work, sure, tell me it’s “good,” but EXPLAIN WHY. Also, just shred it up, spit on it, shit on it, and send it back with a letter written in blood that reads, “FUCK YOU.” Then explain why you did all these things and then mailed it to me when I was having a lovely dinner with my family before the mailman came and threw the parcel in my face.
“Sorry sir, that was what the bottom of the parcel told me to do. I’m just the mailman.”
He IS JUST THE MAILMAN, but you’re my CRITIC so ACT LIKE ONE!