I have discovered that being critiqued (and edited) is a bit like being caught with your fly down. Someone else is pointing out what should have been obvious, and it’s profoundly embarrassing. It’s amazing how much comes out of a critique, things that you know you should have seen on that first draft that you still somehow missed. It makes me want to just pull the whole thing back and refuse to let anyone else look at my paltry attempt at writing. I suppose it should be comforting to know that everyone else is experiencing similar kinds of criticism on their stories, but it only helps a little bit. I just know that it stings, that I want to make excuses for why such-and-such point was less developed than it should have been or for why this event happened this way rather than that way. I want to say, “But it was only 90 minutes! I didn’t have time!” But of course, everyone was equally limited, so that excuse won’t pass, either.
Ultimately, I have to remind myself that this is exactly why I joined Liberty Hall – I need and desire the criticism. I know that my writing has a LOT of weak points, and it is this criticism from other writers that will help me identify those places and make them better. These are, essentially, growing pains. These are the aches and the hurts that go along with growing up, and I am grateful for them because it means that I will, in time, get better at this whole writing thing. It just takes time.
And I have already learned a few things and have started to develop a better sense for what direction to take my writing. I’ll be making a list of goals later, things I want to work on specifically and improve. I’ll share those when I get the list made up.