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How Much Should Critique Affect You?

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Ahavati
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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!

That's the spirit of a writer!  Nothing worth attaining is easy, ever. Whether climbing a mountain, learning to play an musical instrument,  drawing, painting, and, yes, writing.  Failure is nothing more than a step up if you do not repeat the same mistake.  We always remember the tough teachers through school, do we not?

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inechoingsilence
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Johnny,

I sincerely appreciate your comment, and how simply you laid it out. I was thinking of competitions - to publish a whole book hadn't even crossed my mind. A few years before I 'shut-down', I actually had been competing (under my real name). I want to get back to that level and passion. I didn't really care what anyone except those I really admired thought of me. I wanted to compete, I did. I had something to write, I wrote it. My terms, no fear. That's what I want again, and I will get there.

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JohnnyBlaze
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inechoingsilence said:Johnny,

I sincerely appreciate your comment, and how simply you laid it out. I was thinking of competitions - to publish a whole book hadn't even crossed my mind. A few years before I 'shut-down', I actually had been competing (under my real name). I want to get back to that level and passion. I didn't really care what anyone except those I really admired thought of me. I wanted to compete, I did. I had something to write, I wrote it. My terms, no fear. That's what I want again, and I will get there.


And you will get there with that attitude.

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nomoth
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thank Ahavati to your reply and i completely respect your experience and I have very little in this field.

imo and i have no problem in being corrected, is that when I make a request for criticism i am asking for someone's generosity to hold a mirror to my work. Its only my business to accept or reject what those mirrors say. like you said, managing ones own expectations is big part of that. the agency of the opinion will always belong to the critic as i could never know fully the source or history from where it came.

my comment probably sounded like i/we should not care about criticism and that was not my intention. it was meant as a way to manage those mirrors in a way that is the most beneficial and less of a burden, which they can be.

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nomoth
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Thanks Johnny I know what you mean and that was not my intention. I did not intend to sound like I/we shouldn't care about opinions, but present a way to manage ones own internal process and not let others opinions, of which we have no or little control become a burden.

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JohnnyBlaze
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Ahavati said:

That's the spirit of a writer!  Nothing worth attaining is easy, ever. Whether climbing a mountain, learning to play an musical instrument,  drawing, painting, and, yes, writing.  Failure is nothing more than a step up if you do not repeat the same mistake.  We always remember the tough teachers through school, do we not?


Exactly.

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Sky_dancer
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Things I have learned thusfar from Ahavati's honest critique:

* Try not to rhyme like you're writing a nursery rhyme

* Don't be afraid to use a semi colon

* Don't repeat the same word in a verse

* Cut away the deadwood (this one I've read in Orson Welles' advice to writers)

I'd love to see more honest critique here in DUP, I mark my sensitive stuff for friendly feedback but as I'm just an extremely novice writer I value that experienced eye more than anything. Uh, I'm so frikkin lazy though.

Really enjoying this thread!

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Tallen
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Sky_dancer said:

I'm just an extremely novice writer I value that experienced eye more than anything.



could 'ave fooled me  

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JohnnyBlaze
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nomoth said:Thanks Johnny I know what you mean and that was not my intention. I did not intend to sound like I/we shouldn't care about opinions, but present a way to manage ones own internal process and not let others opinions, of which we have no or little control become a burden.

I was merely trying to redirect the focus back towards this being a topic revolving around ( the woes of ) publishing and not just how to cope with casual feedback from readers.

It's actually a good thing when one does get a response from a publisher other than a simple Thank you for your submission; better luck next next time. Usually you don't receive any feedback when it comes to free or paid submissions and contests for prizes.

At least it is a starting point, which is the next best thing to a half-assed critique, which is the next best thing to thorough critique, which is the next best thing to a consensus of all kinds of feedback giving you a clear indication of where you are truly excelling and falling short of the mark.

A starting point on a new path to where you want to be, as opposed to the old path that dead ends or perhaps goes in circles.

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Ahavati
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Sky_dancer said:Things I have learned thusfar from Ahavati's honest critique:

* Try not to rhyme like you're writing a nursery rhyme


Unless you're writing a nursery rhyme or entering a Dr. Seuss competition!

* Don't be afraid to use a semi colon

Word

* Don't repeat the same word in a verse

This is where it gets tricky.  Sometimes repeating the same word in a verse, stanza, or even line works - conversely, sometimes it does not. It all depends on the genre of writing.  To the untrained eye it can be difficult to spot, as outsider art. Like outsider art, it has that 'thing' which resonates.  

* Cut away the deadwood (this one I've read in Orson Welles' advice to writers)

*GASP*

#Strunkism 4-eva!  Seriously, that PDF pushed me to the next level I had been seeking regarding writing. I will always love you for posting that.

I'd love to see more honest critique here in DUP, I mark my sensitive stuff for friendly feedback but as I'm just an extremely novice writer I value that experienced eye more than anything. Uh, I'm so frikkin lazy though.

Really enjoying this thread!


A thorough, honest critique can be a very time-consuming process.  The least amount of time I have spent on one averaged 30 minutes.  The more technical ones average anywhere from 1-4 hours.  Some even longer,  over a period of days.  

We critique all requests very seriously.  You ( general not literal ) are putting your trust in us by asking. Our response could either propel or deter writers from pursuing a writing career.  Sometimes we only have one shot to inspire them to, as Rilke says in his book Letters to a Young Poet:

Go into yourself. Find out the reason that commands you to write; see whether it has spread its roots into the very depths of your heart; confess to yourself whether you would have to die if you were forbidden to write.

This most of all: ask yourself in the most silent hour of your night: must I write? Dig into yourself for a deep answer. And if this answer rings out in assent, if you meet this solemn question with a strong, simple I must, then build your life in accordance with this necessity; your whole life, even into its humblest and most indifferent hour, must become a sign and witness to this impulse. Then come close to Nature. Then, as if no one had ever tried before, try to say what you see and feel and love and lose..."

I highly recommend that book if you haven't read it, btw.  We recently held a classic comp on Rilke and posted the above quote.  

https://deepundergroundpoetry.com/forum/competitions/read/10367/

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Sky_dancer
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You made me cry. Man, you get me in the feels so much. Now I'm going to ask myself, "must I?".

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Ahavati
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Sky_dancer said:You made me cry. Man, you get me in the feels so much. Now I'm going to ask myself, "must I?".

Yes; you must.

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inechoingsilence
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"I must" has always been my answer. From when I was a little girl writing a story about a horse that shouted the names of countries around the world to what I wrote even this very morning. Even in the years I couldn't write, the words were in there - I could see them, sometimes, like flashes of light. A phrase or words would come, then leave before I could hold onto it. Even in those years my answer never changed, not once. Now it is time for me to live my life in accordance to that, as much as I am able.

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Ahavati
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inechoingsilence said:"I must" has always been my answer. From when I was a little girl writing a story about a horse that shouted the names of countries around the world to what I wrote even this very morning. Even in the years I couldn't write, the words were in there - I could see them, sometimes, like flashes of light. A phrase or words would come, then leave before I could hold onto it. Even in those years my answer never changed, not once. Now it is time for me to live my life in accordance to that, as much as I am able.

Now all that remains is this question:

How bad do you want it?

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inechoingsilence
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Ahavati said:

Now all that remains is this question:

How bad do you want it?


Let's see. I'm almost 41, have 4 kids with special needs, and live in an ultra Orthodox community where I have to write under a pen name so no one might say anything negative to my husband or kids. I went to a rabbi for a blessing - to be a poet. When he asked me if I really REALLY wanted this, I told him I did. He gave me the blessing.

Now you tell me how badly I want to be a poet.

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