Why Critiques Are Bad For You

While quietly observing various life-forms on the Internet, I had some greenish realisations.

1) Replying to people in only GIFs earns you a reputation. (As a GIF giver.)
2) There are a lot of life-forms using Loki's face as their profile picture. (I don't understand.)
3) Asking for critiques before you've finished the first page of your book leads to gamma radiation.



I've noticed various forms of 3) circulating amongst newbie writers. (Or maybe they're not new? I'm assuming, which is scientifically unsound, but I have been hanging around Iron Man while he monologues about Switzerland. He assumes things a lot.) And I think this isn't a good habit.

Why?

Unless you're a writing god (hi Thor), then the first page of your book that you've just started is not going to be good. In fact, it's probably going to be green slime. It'll suck, guys! Don't ask for opinions on it!

I know it's tempting. But I suspect what you want is affirmation. Who wants to write something that sucks? I don't. It's hard to accept that fact that in order to write something beautiful, you have to write stuff that sucks first.

Like Neil Gaiman says,
“I suspect that most authors don't really want criticism, not even constructive criticism. They want straight-out, unabashed, unashamed, fulsome, informed, naked praise, arriving by the shipload every fifteen minutes or so.”
I do. Which would you prefer? Someone to say, "I love your writing!" or "I think it needs work!" Okay, okay! I know we've learnt to accept criticism and learn from it, but at the end of the day it's still makes you sad. Yes, even you stoic writers. I know it makes you a tiny, itty bitty bit sad.

If you're a beginner writer, or beginning a new book or a new idea -- it's best not to ask for critiques. 

Wait, okay?

Sleep on it. Write more. Finish the book! (That's a terrific idea.) Then start getting opinions/critiques. Then learn from them and edit/rewrite.

Getting critiques too early will only make you think your book isn't worth it. (And your book is worth it.)

This is me if I starred in a Despicable Me movie. Which I haven't. Yet.


Note: Critiques ARE awesome. The title is a joke. Iron Man style. What? 

4 comments:

  1. I feel accused. Potentially even ... criticised. ~ Iron Man

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  2. I love that quote! Good thoughts, Hulky! They should definitely make a Hulk minion.

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