Recently a friend was reading one of my articles at my request wearing her editor and reader hats. The editor stopped at the first paragraph and pointed out how I used the word that twice in a sentence. “That is something that I do a lot,” was my prompt and humorous response.
I was joking around with her, but her words still had my attention. I did a quick search of the article in question and was shocked at the number of times I used that. I confessed my overuse to her and thanked her for pointing it out. I think she was genuinely surprised at my appreciation.
Rejection of my writing has not hurt me since about the second rejection I received. The first one about crushed me, but after my experience with acting (which I never pursued because of my first rejection) I was determined not to let one opinion derail my passion. Besides, there might actually be a good reason to reject my work so I chose to look for the reason instead of making excuses to ignore the rejection.
I embrace the critic who might tell me my point of view is difficult to read or my character “should have seen it coming.” Their opinion may not be the one directing the ultimate path of my words but their opinion will help me see my path with a clearer vision.
Making Writing Fresh from a Critique
1. A fresh point of few – for many writers the words are children and those children do no wrong. A new look at the children may reveal flaws, mistakes and even a few cracks which were not visible before.
2. A fresh writing – taking a critique and using it to write the next draft may be the only way to discover the brilliance behind the story.
3. A fresh start – hearing the words of the critic may generate a new direction, a new vision or just a new slant to the existing tale.
4. A refresher course – you may have learned certain tricks and rules for writing which fell by the wayside through the years. Having the mistakes of a manuscript highlighted by a critic may bring those old lessons back to the focus.
5. A fresh idea – the words of the critic, editor or an honest friend may give you the words you need to begin the creation of a whole new story (or just a new post for your website).
Embrace the edit. Hearing the critiques and corrections will help draw out the best writer you can be.
P.S. This entire article was written without the use of the word that except to describe the word that my friend pointed out. Sometimes the critic will challenge you and your writing in ways you did not even know you needed to go.