What If Others Criticize Your Writing?
As I finish reading and grading about 100 business proposals and I reach the end of a semester, I’m feeling a little brain dead. I “need” to blog to stay on my schedule, but mostly to comment on the issue the comes up regularly with students.
Inevitably, someone will ask why I “gave them” a poor grade. I always remind them that I don’t give grades, handing them out as if they are those colorful stars that kids get in elementary school. College students earn a grade based on the work that they do, how they write, and whether they put in the effort to improve. But I’m convinced that those students who are disgruntled, really don’t get it.
Students fall into two categories. The first is that they truly didn’t put in the effort to do well and are unhappy that their grade reflects that. The second is that they did put in the effort but struggled with the material and still did poorly.
This made me think that as writers, we can fall into both of these traps as well.
Many writers want accolades and instant success, but do not want to put in the work to become a great writer. We are guilty of this “give me” attitude also. Give me a spot on the NYT Bestseller list and tons of readers and tons of money, even if I haven’t been writing for long.
We also erroneously believe that because we spent months or years writing, that we deserve a readership and success and money. I wish that were the case! I really do. Most writers, published and unpublished, have put in a lot of time and effort. And it would be wonderful to get rewarded based on that time. But sadly, it doesn’t work that way. We might do everything right, cranking out the pages and staying home on weekends to write, and still write a story that doesn’t catch reader interest.
So, what do we do?
The way we improve in anything is to take responsibility for our effort, out attitude, and our work.
Ask yourself, is the story that struggles to get a readership really good? Did you put in the time to create the best story you are capable of writing today?