Constructive Criticism

So I have discovered that I share my work on my blog for a reason. I can share my writing online because I can’t see the people who read my work. If they don’t like it, I usually don’t know about it. I can’t read their expressions or see their body language. Trying to share in a group of people right in front of you is so intimidating. I start out confident and by the time they get to me I am a scared little girl, cowering in a deep corner of my mind.

I know I need this writing group because, as wonderful as all my readers and fellow flash writers are, they are usually only pointing out the good things in my stories. It’s a great confidence booster, but I know that some of the stories I submit are lacking something or could use some help with structure or delivery. Constructive criticism would be beneficial in my growth as a writer.

The people in this writing group are great at pointing out things that need improvement. It’s all constructive and not at all judgy or bashing. But with my obsessive nature I know that once they pick apart a story of mine, especially if it’s one I’m proud of, I will dwell on it for days weeks. It will consume me and I don’t know If I will be able to continue it. I fear my original feeling about the story will change thus making it impossible for me to finish. (This is why I can’t write a novel. I’m a mood writer. When my mood changes so does my writing.)

I have been to three meetings now and still have not shared anything. They may be wondering if I can really write at all. I always leave thinking that my work is so “immature” compared to theirs. I know it will do me good to share, I just don’t want to see my worked torn apart, ya know?

9 thoughts on “Constructive Criticism

  1. It’s very difficult to share. If people are too polite, your work won’t grow and develop. If they are too critical, you’ll want to curl up into a ball and never show your writing to another living soul again. We’ve all been there.
    I’ve been through a spate of rejections recently – two instances of two rejections in one day! It’s taken me a day or two to get over the anger, the frustration, the feeling I never want to write another thing – ever. But still I come back to it, bruised and battered and hoepfully a little wiser as to what works and what doesn’t.
    At least your group is creative in their criticism. With short story/ agent/ publisher rejections it’s usually a straight ‘NO’, no help or explanation.
    Take your time, learn to trust these people, then try and read some of your work. It’s very hard, but the only way to improve.
    Good luck

  2. Yes, I can absolutely relate. When I first joined the SVW critique group my first thought was “yeahhhhhh, bad idea.” But it turned out to be the BEST idea! They are supportive and bring that critical eye that’s so necessary. I hope you do submit and keep writing always. Sometimes we need to kill our darlings and other times we get to run away screaming with them because we know the direction our story needs to grow. 🙂

    • I know that this group will be good for me. I need face to face contact with people or I will be forever in my rut. I will get up the courage. For now though, I do enjoy sitting back and seeing what the others have to say.

      It’s just so out of my comfort zone.

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