I am plagued.
To me, the most important thing society can do for one another, especially in the writing world, is to build each other up. We should all focus on the positives in each other’s work and use those as a framework for advancement.
But, not everyone works that way.
For example, I am forged under fire. While I would love if everyone fluffed me up with great exaltations about my work, it’s not realistic, and it won’t help me grow at all as a person or as a writer. While we need to build each other up, it is equally important to be honest.
Dudley Field Malone said, “I never learned anything from any man who agreed with me.”
I am a firm believer in that statement, and I live my life that way, but I realize not everyone will be thrilled when their work is not taken in the best light. The truth is, we can all improve. We should always be improving, and we, as writers, should know that better than anyone. We constantly must be striving to be better at our craft, and sometimes the best way for that to happen is to hear the ways in which our work didn’t work.
And yes, the writing work is subjective. Even if your work is the most amazing piece in your genre or in your group of friends, not everyone is going to like it. It’s that simple. Thankfully, there are millions of people on the planet. There are lots of opportunities to impress.
It is my hope that the writers I review for can take my criticisms as constructive, and we can all do our best to build each other up while accepting suggestions for improvement.