Is Good Critique Actually Good and Bad Critique Really Bad?
“What is wrong with you today?” Christi’s mother asked. “You haven’t said a word since you came home for lunch.”
Christi, her young daughter, sat slouched at the table with a dejected look on her round face.
Her downcast eyes finally lifted. “They said my picture was stupid.”
“What picture? And who said that?” Maggie asked her.
Her daughter usually bubbled over with happiness when she came home for lunch from her grade one class, eager to talk about her morning. Today, she was lucky to get a single smile from her.
Christi pulled out the folded construction paper from her backpack, then unfolded it, before laying it gently on the table in front of her.
Maggie couldn’t recognize the picture. She only saw vibrant colors, predominately purple, pink, and green hues splashed across the page.
“That’s beautiful!” she exclaimed, truly amazed at the colorful effect her daughter had achieved.
“Lilly and Sara didn’t think so. They laughed at it.”
“Did you do your best when you painted it?”
Christi bobbed her head up and down. “Yes.”
“Then that is all that matters. You can’t make everyone happy, Sweetie. There are always going to be people that don’t like what you do or don’t like what you wear, or say, or in this case, what you drew. As long as you are happy, you can’t expect more.”
Both their heads whipped toward the door, as it bolted open.
Jason, her oldest, trotted inside. “Hi, Mom! Hi, Sis!” he called out. Tall for his age and eight years older than his sister, he was coming home to get a pair of gym shorts he had forgotten for his basketball game.
“Nice picture!” he told Christi in passing as he strolled up the stairs before either got a ‘hello’ out.
Christi straightened, beaming with delight.
Maggie winked at her because she knew that Jason wouldn’t say he liked it if he didn’t, and she suspected Christi knew that too.
I was asked by someone recently how I handle critique on my writing.
I admit that I never read it, not the good or the bad critique. I don’t want to nor do I have the time.
The next question that follows is, “Don’t you want to know what is good and bad about your writing?”
No. Critique is only a matter of opinion.
Bad critique makes me insecure about my work probably because I haven’t developed that thick skin everyone says you need to have as a writer.
And good critique, it tends to inflate my ego, making me complacent. Both situations are unhealthy for my writing, so I don’t read any critique.
I’m of the opinion that the only critique I need to pay any attention to is from my professional editor, agent, and publisher. And even that critique occasionally needs to be viewed with skepticism.
“The artist doesn’t have time to listen to the critics. The ones who want to be writers read the reviews, the ones who want to write don’t have the time to read reviews.” – William Faulkner