Yesterday I was ready to quit everything. Seriously, all I wanted to do was pack-up my writing career and throw it in the toilet. Today, however, I’ve’ decided to stick it out. What a difference a day makes, indeed!
You’re probably asking, what happened?
Well, as I mentioned in yesterday’s post, my frustration stems from peer reviews in the writer’s program I’m in.
If you’re not a writer and don’t know what a writer’s workshop entails, here’s an explanation. Imagine you’ve written a story. You then submit that story to your fellow students and professor for them to give you feedback. In every writer’s workshop I’ve been in online, the instructor indicates in their syllabus that absent facial expressions and tone, writers need to pay extra attention to what they say to other writers, because feelings can easily be hurt.
Unfortunately, as in all of life, some people do not follow instructions and simply have no tact. Instead, they come out swinging, dismissing everything I’ve written as something they “don’t like or get” and they never stop swinging until they’ve chopped almost everything I’ve written to pieces. They, of course, do this all while insinuating how they could have done it better.
It’s online bullying for writers.
You think I’m joking? Unfortunately, I’m not.
As a writer, I know how much work I put into my craft. Given that, I know others do the same. So I do my best not to unintentionally hurt someone’s feelings through my review of their work. I am sad to say, however, many students in these workshops do not proceed with such care.
They are number one, and that’s all that matters.
This issue can easily be translated to many other life situations.
* Popular kids at school make fun of loner kid. Loner kid’s feelings get hurt and sometimes permanent harm is done.
* Your blogger friend copies you blog design. Feelings are hurt, trust is ruined, and a friendship is lost
* My god is better than yours. People hate each other, countries go to war, and hate continues forever!
You get the picture.
The problem is, people say and do whatever the hell they want without thinking of the consequences. Can’t we all get along? Remember, delivery is just as important as the message itself. Using the sign-off of one of the kindest people on the planet, (Ellen DeGeneres), Be Kind To One Another
Back to my situation, what happened to make me want to throw in the towel was a writer ripped my story to pieces. Basically, she said she hated everything about it and, between the lines, called me a horrible writer. Ugh!
However, today the professor posted his review, and as if he waved a wand and cast a wonderful spell of kind helpfulness, magically his words set everything right again. No, he didn’t say my piece was perfect. I wouldn’t want that. He simply gave me constructive criticism and the encouragement I so needed after reading Ms. HATE’s review the day before.
Here’s what I decided.
* Even though it’s hard sometimes, I’m not going to let a single moment define me.
* Sometimes people are just jerks.
* And as always, when all else fails, doggies make everything better!