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How Much Should Critique Affect You?

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inechoingsilence
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I just received this in response to a submission and my request for general review/observation of my work that they had seen so far:

As a general comment, I see poetry as artistic self-expression. I look for beauty, authenticity, freshness, simplicity, the unexpected. I'm not fond of showy language meant to impress.

I am trying to tell myself this is one publisher's opinion, but I admit I am shocked. I've been called a lot of things, but never of being showy or meaning to impress in any shape or form. Those few words are getting to me more than all the poems that were rejected thus far.

Any advice or help appreciated.

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Miss_Sub
- Missy -
Tyrant of Words
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Hello.

It’s worth mentioning that there are two separate settings for critique — honest critique, and friendly feedback. If you are likely to take comments more personally, always choose friendly feedback, which will ensure that the reader knows you aren’t looking for an in-depth pulling apart of your words and style. Failing that, you can set it to no comments at all. A good option I have often used when I can’t be arsed with feedback. Or people.

That aside this is something I’ve struggled with for years. Taking things too seriously.

My dear — ask yourself why you write. Is it for you? If it is, why take on board the silly comments of somebody who isn’t going to matter in five minutes let alone five years. If they’re being constructive on form, grammar, content I don’t really see it as a problem. Just say thank you and move on.

Shake it off, to quote that well known philosopher Taylor Swift.

However as for more personal things, they are only the opinions of the reader. Opinions are like assholes, everybody has got one. Just brush it off and move on.

If somebody is choosing to be an asshat to somebody on the Internet from behind the security of a screen, they’ve probably got other things going on within them. Nowt you can do other than ignore them.

Most of all, don’t let it spoil your day. ☀️

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inechoingsilence
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Miss_Sub, thank you for your meaningful words!

To put it in a better perspective, I was submitting to Typishly. I suppose it could be called a poetry mill? For $4 you can send up to 5 poems and they will decide which ones to publish or not. There is the owner or director (or Chief Asshat at this point) and this is what his last comment was to me asked that for any general observations he'd seen about my work (over the last days I submitted almost every piece I wrote)

As a general comment, I see poetry as artistic self-expression. I look for beauty, authenticity, freshness, simplicity, the unexpected. I'm not fond of showy language meant to impress.

I have to say that I was stunned: I use words that resonate with me, and you better believe I know the definition and correct usage (or deliberate mis-usage) of every single word of every single poem. I know for fact my style is unique, authentic - simple is not the name of my game, ever. So to hear him say 'showy language meant to impress' I took real offense to that. Excuse me. I am not looking to impress anyone. If I was, I'd be sneaking in sexual innuendos into my pieces, like the one that Chief Asshat showed me from his site as examples of what he was looking for! To be called show-offy and trying to impress hurt. But you are right - everyone has an asshole. And nope, I shouted 'FUCK YOU' at my screen, and sent some new pieces to a few different places for cash prizes.

To be fair, perhaps I should set my pieces here for critique - practice for the heartless idiots out there. What do you think?

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Ahavati
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inechoingsilence said:I just received this in response to a submission and my request for general review/observation of my work that they had seen so far:

As a general comment, I see poetry as artistic self-expression. I look for beauty, authenticity, freshness, simplicity, the unexpected. I'm not fond of showy language meant to impress.

I am trying to tell myself this is one publisher's opinion, but I admit I am shocked. I've been called a lot of things, but never of being showy or meaning to impress in any shape or form. Those few words are getting to me more than all the poems that were rejected thus far.

Any advice or help appreciated.


Publishers are typically inundated with submissions.  I relate to them in many ways, seeing the same thing over and over again:  unoriginal vocabulary, repeated cliches, and so forth.  Therefore, when something fresh and unique does surface, it is very exciting.

By using a first-person singular pronoun, the publisher is letting you know this is simply their opinion, and what they personally look for in submissions.  You shouldn't be shocked that they saw something in your writing that you ( or others ) may not have seen.  Not all publications are for every writer.  Look at Mary Oliver, one of the most renowned poets of our time. Many criticised her for being too simple. Others praised and published her collections.

Set the submission aside and revisit when you're not emotional ( or in shock ).  Then evaluate the piece and attempt to target what they meant. What words could be construed as 'showy'?  Critique the critique, if you will.  It is truly meant to help you. A publisher's time is valuable regardless of what opinion they share.

One of the biggest mistakes many of our submissions make is attempting to impress us vs simply writing the poem.  They feel showy language demonstrates education and a command of the English language.  Pass it on for another opinion. I'll be happy to review the piece and provide my assessment of what the publisher may have meant if you email it to me.

poeticmedics@gmail.com

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nomoth
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edited after reading Ahavati's reply

totally agree with Miss Sub. also..

and this is not my own original thought but it is something I try to adhere to and that is this:
other peoples opinions are not your business.

i heard this a long while ago and then I saw Russel Brand, who I am starting to actually like now say the same thing and its for me solid, healthy advice.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2dXs_He45Po

he gives the metaphor of reacting badly to criticism as trying to clean the mud off of the mirror when the mud is on your face. and in that process you end up morphing oneself into a 'horrible hybrid of what you think other people think you should be'. I'm definitely not perfect at this.

by releasing yourself from those mirrors your own inner dialogue will gain confidence and become the only critic you should need. that inner dialogue will also distinguish what is actually helpful and useful for you from actual good advice from others.


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Miss_Sub
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inechoingsilence said:But you are right - everyone has an asshole. And nope, I shouted 'FUCK YOU' at my screen, and sent some new pieces to a few different places for cash prizes.

To be fair, perhaps I should set my pieces here for critique - practice for the heartless idiots out there. What do you think?


Oh hell, I scream fuck you at the screen all the time, sweet. It’s good for the soul. You do it once, and then the moment is gone.

The art of not giving a fuck — it’s a mantra. A lifestyle choice.

Let me give you a little bit of advice here on the DU. Open yourself up for comments. Take a risk. Be real with people, and they’ll be real with you.

I wish you all the best out there

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Tallen
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inechoingsilence said:


To be fair, perhaps I should set my pieces here for critique - practice for the heartless idiots out there. What do you think?



Hey,
not all of us are heartless!  Just saying'


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inechoingsilence
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Oh gosh, I didn't that about anyone in the Deep - I meant for the people out there who I am sending pieces to. I need to develop a better 'fuck you' attitude.

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Ahavati
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nomoth said:edited after reading Ahavati's reply

and this is not my own original thought but it is something I try to adhere to and that is this:
other peoples opinions are not your business.


But when you ( general not literal you ) specifically request a critique, that opinion does become your business. You're requesting honesty.  Getting angry over something you requested because it doesn't align with what you were expecting demonstrates an immaturity of the writer.  That being said, there are varying degrees of critiquing, some so unprofessional it would be better for the writer to overlook.


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inechoingsilence
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I agree. And I think like this: you ask for it, you deal with it. On your own. Make sure you understand completely, and if you need to go cry or get angry, you do it. BY YOURSELF. And you stay there til you get your big girl pants back on and keep going. That dude started doing a compare/contrast on two completely different poems, written in completely different styles, then ended with that lovely comment. None of which I was ready for. But it make me think that if some punk could get to me like that, I need to toughen up.

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Tallen
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Ahavati said:

But when you ( general not literal you ) specifically request a critique, that opinion does become your business. You're requesting honesty.  Getting angry over something you requested because it doesn't align with what you were expecting demonstrates an immaturity of the writer.  That being said, there are varying degrees of critiquing, some so unprofessional it would be better for the writer to overlook.



This reminds me of the many Facebook Poets who for some reason invite me to read and comment on their spills.  
This one woman threw lots of anger and expletives at me when she asked for an honest critique and when my thoughts didn't line up with the rest of the people commenting -- LOOK OUT!!

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Ahavati
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Tallen said:

This reminds me of the many Facebook Poets who for some reason invite me to read and comment on their spills.  
This one woman threw lots of anger and expletives at me when she asked for an honest critique and when my thoughts didn't line up with the rest of the people commenting -- LOOK OUT!!


Tallen, I feel you; it happens here too.  When I was a moderator a member ( who requested honest critique ) told a critiquer ( who delivered a wonderful one ) to 'fuck off because everyone else liked it'.  

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inechoingsilence
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I feel like if I am going to get to the place I want to be, it's time for the band-aids to be ripped off. All except one poem here is marked for honest criticism. (that one is locked in a competition and I can't edit it). If there is something I should be aware of, tell me and I'll decide what to do. I am sick to the backteeth of wondering and feeling not good enough. So, honest criticism. Bring it, then let's go get drinks after!

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JohnnyBlaze
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nomoth said:edited after reading Ahavati's reply

totally agree with Miss Sub. also..

and this is not my own original thought but it is something I try to adhere to and that is this:
other peoples opinions are not your business.

i heard this a long while ago and then I saw Russel Brand, who I am starting to actually like now say the same thing and its for me solid, healthy advice.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2dXs_He45Po

he gives the metaphor of reacting badly to criticism as trying to clean the mud off of the mirror when the mud is on your face. and in that process you end up morphing oneself into a 'horrible hybrid of what you think other people think you should be'. I'm definitely not perfect at this.

by releasing yourself from those mirrors your own inner dialogue will gain confidence and become the only critic you should need. that inner dialogue will also distinguish what is actually helpful and useful for you from actual good advice from others.



It's either be published by someone else and have that publisher market on your behalf ~ or ~ self publish and market the hell out of yourself with your own spare change and time.

That's just the way it is.

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Tallen
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inechoingsilence said:I feel like if I am going to get to the place I want to be, it's time for the band-aids to be ripped off. All except one poem here is marked for honest criticism. (that one is locked in a competition and I can't edit it). If there is something I should be aware of, tell me and I'll decide what to do. I am sick to the backteeth of wondering and feeling not good enough. So, honest criticism. Bring it, then let's go get drinks after!

I don't see any of Your spills here?
https://deepundergroundpoetry.com/groups/poetry-medics/discussion/

Just tell e1 there You are looking for Honest Critique

Pour me 3 shots neat
of Monkey Shoulder Scotch  

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