Let it be known that no matter what time this is posted, I am writing it “today”. I have managed a perfect record of posting every day so far this year, and I would hate to mess that up, but today has been rather hectic and troublesome and there simply wasn’t time to write before now.
And even now… I’m sitting in my car outside a very nice house in San Francisco, waiting for the commencement of my second week of the Writing Workshop I mentioned that I would be participating in. I haven’t really had a chance to talk about it before now and I don’t have time now to do it justice, but it has been interesting (and I’ve barely gotten started.)
The time I would normally have spent writing this afternoon, was instead spent critiquing other people’s writing – something I find I’m a lot less comfortable with than I had imagined I would be. It’s difficult to critique the work of complete strangers you will, nonetheless, be looking in the eye for weeks to come.
It was especially difficult because I didn’t particularly enjoy much of what I read, which is not to say it wasn’t good, just not my speed. And so, I needed to critique the work without being too judgmental, or insulting, which wasn’t really so difficult, but more than that, I wanted to be constructively critical, but also encouraging.
I’ve discovered that, while I’ve come a long way, personally, I’m still an inherently negative person and it’s kind of difficult to find positive things to say when I don’t really feel them. I managed to get them done though. And since it’s the first week of handing back critiques, we’ll see how it goes and how I did in comparison to everyone else… If comparing is even in order. It may not be.
I did learn one thing, however. I should NEVER put this off to the last day, ever again!
2 thoughts on “The Nick of Time”
I think you can offer constructive criticism without being negative. But you have to be honest. That’s what everyone (including you) is there for. And remember that it’s still early in the game, so it makes sense that the participants have some work to do in the coming weeks.
Most of the people in the group have been in these workshops before. Obviously they still have work to do or they’d probably all be published authors already, but they have more experience than I, and they already knew what to expect in this group.
I think what stressed me out was not knowing how the process was going to go and what was expected of me. Next week, I’ll be more prepared. PLUS, I only have to do two critiques, since I’m also on the chopping block…