I received some super negative feedback about my essay shame orbiter and I’m not sure how to take it. It’s funny, I’m always saying how I wish I would be more critiqued in workshops.. well.. I got my wish. Although, when I say I’d like to be more critiqued, I mean I’d like some concrete reasoning and thought behind it, plus a suggestion for “fixing” it.
I feel very annoyed in this context by: I just didn’t like it, its my least favorite thing you’ve written, you’re borrowing the format, it isn’t original, you’re forcing together concepts that don’t belong together [of which I only noticed two out of three], and here’s my three sentence critique when the assignment calls for a page, belch, belch, belch. It was worse, too, because one kid loved it, but the rest were on the fence, so it was pretty one sided-ly “bad”. I feel like defending it, its intelligent, sure, but I don’t agree it’s “trying too hard”.
My professor said the student critiquing me, although she disagreed, has “the voice of an editor” and that I should listen to him. I felt palpably jealous. I want to be an editor. That’s my goal in life. To write and to edit and to be kind. And I know she isn’t by extension saying: and Hannah you are a terrible writer and do not have the “voice of an editor”. But shit, it kind of feels that way. Which, I know is my shame and insecurity talking, not rational adult me, but it hurt my feelings. And I know my perception is tainted by the shame, because I’m pretty sure he didn’t make suggestions, I just don’t think I retained them.
[note: I just got some reaffirming news that I can’t share yet, but am glad about the timing]
I know everyone in the industry jokes about how you should be proud of all your rejections, and your writer’s group should encourage each other about getting rejections.. but boy is it a bummer. I suppose that’s why you’ve got your support system, right? You’re in it together. There’s something really precious about that.
I’m on the fence about whether or not I’d want this other student’s opinion in a writing group. I do want to be challenged, I just also want the person challenging my creative decision-making to have a more developed opinion. “I Iike” or “I dislike” aren’t helpful.
Alright, I have to go ask everyone I know whether or not I suck [I know the answer is no].
I’m concerned how much “positive” and “negative” feedback can sway my perception of reality toward the negative and the hopeless. That’s not real life. Not that it doesn’t exist, just, it’s not all black and white like that. Life’s all gradient and shit.