Friday, April 08, 2011

Guts (A/Z)

For the A to Z Challenge - Letter G.

Most writers and artists will tell you there is a palpable vulnerability to sharing your work, particularly within a large arena of viewers. Summoning the guts to do so can be good. Constructive criticism is every bit as helpful in helping the artist grow as appreciation, if not moreso. But there is also the fear that people will scoff or insult the nudity of your soul.

I joined a poetry writers' circle on Facebook, thinking it might be good for feedback as well as inspiration. I was thinking of sharing my haiku cluster I wrote last weekend, and then as I started reading through the page.

Many comments left by other members are helpful. But some of the members are bluntly nasty. A few of my 'favorites' are as follows:

"Trivial piece. I don't care for the topic or the way you presented it."

"I ahbor end line rhymes."

"Terrible metaphor." (That's helpful.)

"If I didn't leave a comment it was because I didn't care for the poem at all and had nothing to say that could make it better." (Really? Was it necessary to say this?)

I'm not so sensitive that I can't take constructive criticism on my writing. But, I don't know. To me these sorts of comments are not helpful. At all. But should one expose one's self to those as well? Does brutality fortify your guts?


mooderino said...

I think it might be more to do with Facebook than critique in general. Not that there aren't arrogant, self-absorbed blowhards in all parts of life, but it is Facebook.

Stacy said...

Those comments sound like the "critics" are more interested in the sound of their own voice than in helping anyone else improve. I'd probably skip that group.

Karen Walker said...

I think people who leave those kind of comments - well, let's just say I wouldn't want them in my energy field. But if you post to a critique group kind of thing, you have to expect that I guess.
Yes, it takes being vulnerable to share your writing. I have had my share of harsh criticism. But we write because we have to, right? I hope you find critique partners that are loving and kind, not brutal.
So nice to "meet" you on this a-z challenge.

Shannon Lawrence said...

While I think it's something you may be exposed to whenever putting artistic work out to the general public, I don't see how feedback like that can possibly help you form your work. Constructive criticism is good. Blatant nastiness, not so much.

Good luck with the A to Z Challenge!

barbara said...

oh dear - I would hope people don't take such nastiness for any more than it is . . . nastiness. :(

If you can do it - try to find a real life in person writers circle. We have one here in Kenai (wanna come up? smirk) but it falls on a work night so I can't go any longer.

I had some (pride) hurtful critique, but in retrospect that was the most helpful. As long as people are respectful . . . well THAT goes a long way.