Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Are those positive words sincere?

This morning over breakfast I chatted with a writer friend about sincerety in criticism; is the person critiquing your writing, assessing it or giving feeback being honest with you? How much can you believe their words and how much weight can you give them?

When I give others feeback I always want to say something positive. I know I like to be encouraged so I want to encourage others also. I speak postively about the things I truly believe are done well. But when you are a writer you want to do well enough to become published. At the end of the day this is the first of two measurements that are truly sincere. Yes someone wants to invest time and money in turning the story into a book. Its not just that your mother or your daughter liked it - it is percieved by those experienced in such things that it is commercially viable. The second measurement comes from readers who have been able to choose your book without influence at the bookshop, who have taken it home and enjoyed it enough to tell you so unasked. Critiquers, advisors, mentors and assessors can give you support, advice and encouragement but they cannot tell you if it will sell or be enjoyed. You have to have faith in yourself and test your story out with the publishers and the customers in the bookshops. Sad but true, it is when people part with their money that they truly critique your work. Any other time you have to trust your own inner critique. Reaching your own standards is what you must strive for first.

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