On Critique and Perfectionism (A Rant)

I really had hoped to have this typewritten, but both of my SM3s are out of commission until further notice and my two Skyriters are as well. And the Princess still hasn’t arrived. And… and… and…


I’m typewriterless for a bit… *cries*

The Princess won’t be here until Tuesday. Going to be tearing my hear out by then.

The SM3s need to be serviced. One of them needs a full servicing, while Southpaw just needs the annual check-up. One Skyriter has been parted for the primary one I’ve been working on. It is missing a screw or two as a result. It functions, but it was never cleaned since its purpose, I suppose, was to be parts. The other Skyriter is still totally in parts. I found a shortcut on a few things though, so maybe it’ll go back together easily enough. I have a few ideas now as well if it works. 😀


What I want to talk — no, rant — about is the concept of critique. Meaning, the act of giving positive, constructive criticism. Take note of the descriptors, if you please. These are key.

Any form of criticism that isn’t positive and constructive should immediately be ignored and trashed. Period. No questions asked. Even if it is negative yet constructive, trash it.

The whole point of a critique is to give ideas and advice. Simple as that. Point out stuff that really should be fixed. That kind of thing.

Now… on to the individual.

If you are the type of individual who immediately becomes defensive and shuts down upon any form of critique, positive or negative, constructive or not, for the love of all that is holy, do not take up writing.

You aren’t perfect.

Never have been, never will be.

I’m not perfect. I expect my stuff to be torn apart like some hyena having lunch upon some carcass.

Never have been a perfectionist and I’m damn well going to make sure I will never be because perfectionism is an illusion. One heck of a grand one. One generated by society at large. Women feel the brunt of it most often just as a whole. “Perfect beauty” is X Y Z. I’m not even going to get into that…

But what does that mean?

I would dearly hope that you would guess that hey, maybe, just maybe, your draft isn’t going to be your final. If you expect that from yourself, do not take up writing. Even the best authors in the world, the highest award winning, blah, blah, blah… They go through countless revisions, often, just to get their work ‘just so’.

Being a writer… some people can’t do it. I’m not saying don’t try. By all means. *gives paper, pen, laptop, typewriter, pencil, tablet…* Do it. I’ll support you all the damn way. Clear from helping you proofread and edit. To hey, maybe, giving you positive, constructive feedback. To helping you find a magazine or publisher or agent.

But if your work comes back marked up to hell and back, don’t yell at me. Just hold a mirror up and yell. And after you’re all red in the face, put down the mirror, get some ice and some water, cool off and actually maybe read what is written.

You might be surprised that, hey, your idea is pretty darn great but it just needs work.

Now, is that so hard to hear?