Friday, April 2, 2010

Home Improvement

So the other day, I offered my husband some tips on how to be a better dad (like taking the kids hiking on their day off instead of watching two movies in a row). Needless to say, this advice--or much other--was not well-received.

Without sounding sexist, I'm wondering if perhaps one gender is more open to "suggestions" than the other? Does one gender have more of a desire to evolve?

There's that, and this: I am critiqued, criticized, and even rejected daily. Writing group, query letters, submissions...my "art" is constantly being hammered.

In the beginning, of course, it hurt. I didn't know how to receive or even really give constructive feedback.

Two years later, though, I see how critical it is to making my writing stronger. With more developed characters, tighter plot, twists, fluid sentence structure. Especially that last one never would've happened without the influence of my talented writing partners.

I had to learn to put aside my ego, and try their suggestions. To think critically, which is to consider plural perspectives--the perspectives of Anjie, Christy, and Julie.

Last Wednesday night when we met at Starbucks, my new first chapters garnered lots of praise. There are hearts and stars and happy words all over my sample.

I have a long way to go, but I am growing.

I want to.

Now about that obstinate but completely adorable husband of mine...

4 comments:

anjie said...

I think we all have areas where we don't want suggestions, regardless of gender: I can't stand it when my husband has the gall to mention the state of the kitchen when I've spent the whole day cleaning the rest of the house. But I'll listen when he tells me to throw cargo shorts on with a t-shirt because he's got a great sense of style.

Can't wait to read your next chapter at writing group. :)

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Oh, Jennie! So totally true about our darling husbands and their ability to handle constructive comments. :-)

~Nicole Ducleroir~ said...

Interesting question...Criticism sucks in general, doesn't it? But when it comes to writing, you're absolutely right. No one improves unless another writer/reader points out where our writing is weak. Best of luck with your WiP and congrats on receiving positive feedback on the new chapters!

Happy Easter weekend!

Jennie Englund said...

All true, girls. All true.