Friday, April 26, 2013

Editing Is A B****

I've been putting off posting this for my heart is heavy. When we ask for a critique, we open ourselves to an incredible experience. It can be filled with joy and a sense of accomplishment. It can be devastating.

Where is truth? Is it in the critique? Now - I'm speaking of a critique given by a friend in love and with a measure of experience. If a person whom you trust says things that cut through to the quick, does that mean they are right? 

There is a point where we, as writers, have to trust ourselves. But we also have to trust those we ask, with careful deliberation, to critique our work. 

If a person sees something that they believe should be cut out, it can brutalize our hearts. Our words, the words we put onto paper with the help of the Muse (or without) are dear to us. They are like children that we have birthed into being. They are precious. 

When another takes the words and says, 'Nope. Get rid of this." even if it is said in the gentlest tone, in the kindest manner, it still cuts. 

I hope my friend, who swore this very night to be 'friends forever' remembers that tonight. That her words are her words. That my critique is given in love but with full knowledge that she can say, 'Nope. You're wrong.' It's her work after all. Who is more guaranteed the right to be right?

Life is stepping out with hope.

1 comment:

  1. It's always hard to balance what others see as cut-worthy and what we feel is important to our story. Sometimes what that person sees is true, because they can see more clearly than we as writers, who are attached in a special way to every word we write. But the critique can also be based in personal preference, and I don't think any critic is free from that aspect of critiquing, no matter how experienced and loving they are. Getting critiqued is vital because -- even though it hurts -- it helps us look at the things we write in a different light, and that allows us to see when we indeed are off base and need to cut or change something. But I believe, like you do, that sometimes it is right to say in response to a critique, "Thank you, but I disagree."

    Praying your critiques of others' works are taken in the spirit in which they are intended and that the writers who receive them have the clarity they need to decide if you are right or not -- and praying the same for you when you get critiques! <3