I’ve been thinking about how we take criticism. We all get treated to other people’s judgments, deserved or not. Sometimes we ask for a critique. Other times we don’t – and we get it anyway!
I’ve been seeing a lot of postings on the Net about critiques and what people consider harsh reviews. There was the episode, earlier this year, of the writer who committed review-icide over what she thought was unusually harsh criticism in a blog. Which touched off a firestorm of argument over three days and forced the entire discussion to be closed.
Mostly, writers post more gently, asking the usual why? Why me? Why this work? What do they not get about my writing? And, since I’ve recently enrolled myself in a website for receiving advance copies of books, and another website where I can post my thoughts on them, I have to consider how a book gets reviewed. What’s fair? What isn’t?
Even more important, how would I want MY book to be reviewed, when that happy day arrives? What does my writing say about me, since a person’s writing is inevitably a window on the writer? What do I want it to say?
What will your writing say about you? And how do you want to be remembered for your work?
Which brings the ultimate question: What is your writer’s epitaph?
(PS: The title for this blog post is the three titles hammered out on my weekend trip to Vermont. If I can’t decide, why not use all three?)