Monday, September 3, 2007

The Sting of Criticism

I have not kept up with my blogs on as regular a basis as I thought I would. I hope to remedy that, and though there might not be a post everyday, I plan at least three or four a week. For the next four posts I'll take not only an example from Janet Grace Riehl, a faithful blogger, but also borrow some of her content. She recently hosted me as guest blogger, posting a short essay of mine on her blog. I will repeat it here. After I wrote comments on criticism, Janet, with my permission and gratitude, divided them into parts with headings and posted them on her blog.

All writers, unless they keep their work in a closet, under the bed, or hidden somewhere so that it will never be read, will encounter both praise and criticism. Like many writers, when I first started submitting my work, years ago, I was rocked by the tiniest criticism and gentle rejection. I let it block my writing muse while I told myself. "See? I can't write!" What a lot of time I wasted by doing that to myself. It was with this in mind that I wrote the short essay which Janet Grace Riehl divided into four parts on her blog ( Here is part one.

I believe the writer is a special breed of person—one with extraordinarily acute vision, talent, and passion. From the writer’s pen flows, not mere words, but an outpouring for the writer’s soul similar to the travail—and the joy—of giving birth to an infant.
A writer may feel a defensiveness of her verbal creations not wholly unlike the maternal protectiveness experienced when someone criticizes or threatens her offspring.

Blessed is the writer who can emerge undaunted from the paralyzing blow of sharp criticism. Naturally, her tender heart bleeds from the onslaught of arrows shot at her work—her babies. A writer’s equally tender ego takes the full force of those arrows and is wounded by their sting.

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