I’m at a point in writing where I’ve completed first drafts of my current creative assignments (opening of YA fantasy novel + short screenplay) and it is freaking me out, to be quite frank. Quite confident and satisfied (if one ever is) about one, extremely self-conscious about the other, I decided to bite down on my pride and send both off for feedback.
I’ve done all I can do at this point.
Now for the nervous waiting. Of course I’ve sent them to people I trust – but also people who will (even without me asking) be brutally honest about my pieces.
Constructive criticism has become bit of a cliché expression – does anybody know what it
means anymore? It seems like one of those words various professionals throw around to
either defend their own work, their own feedback, or prevent peers from absolutely trashing each other’s work. It is, nevertheless, very important.
Being criticised on a creative piece of work is not like being criticised on an academic essay. Oh, no, far from it. A (good) piece of writing is a part of yourself, a slice of your interiority contained in blotches of ink on a sheet of paper. Rather ludicrous, when one thinks about it.
It’s a part of your soul flaked up for others to see. To read. To criticise.
Feedback is, nevertheless, necessary – crucial, even – and a writer must learn to handle. You are after all writing for a readership. After hammering out thousands of words, you will inevitably become at least partially blind to your own writing and what does and does not make sense. Of course you get it – you made it up! In those moments there is nothing as important as EARNEST criticism. It can be as constructive as it likes, but the feedback isn’t honest, it’ll do you no good.
At least so I think. Maybe that’s just my masochistic side speaking…