I had the honor this year of winning the “Best Reporting Award” in the Excellence in Wisconsin Journalism Competition. It is an award given by one’s peers and is, thus, very meaningful for its recipients, myself included.
Competitions and critiques aren’t always easy to face, we all know. No one wants to be passed over on an award, have their work torn apart, or see an editor slash and burn what you later must agree was worthless text. It’s tough, but I believe there is value in having your peers evaluate your work.
I’ve had colleagues tell me, in brutal honestly, all the things I could have done better. Happily, I’ve also had some great feedback on my work. I try to remember those nuggets of affirmation.
Today, I had one of those nuggets tossed my way; only it wasn’t from a peer. It was from a young reader who enjoyed a particular turn of phrase in one of my writings.
That is another kind of honor that I cherish.
*frowns* Ok, I already commented. At least I think I did. But it’s not showing up…
Anyway, I was just saying how it is rare and wonderful to get a good review from any source. It’s strange but it seems like most writers take on board the negative and the seem to look past the positive comments.
It’s wonderful that you could be in the right place to hear her feedback. Did you celebrate in style?
Yes, I celebrated by writing a post on it to tell the world! 🙂
And you’re right. We can focus too much on the negative. It’s not easy to bear your soul and risk criticism to do something as personal and all-consuming as writing. Comments, good or bad, are also subjective, as you know, so while one person may like parts, another won’t. I’ll just choose to do my best and try to remember the positive comments. 🙂
I’ve always felt that the praise of a reader far outweighs the critique of a critic for that exact reason. Readers ARE subjective and a reader has come WANTING to read your work. If they enjoy it then that’s great.
For a critic there isn’t really a pull in the first place to read it, they aren’t (usually) your audience/market, so if they’re not satisfied but the people who are actually going to BUY the book love it that’s all that matters.