Did not have a repeat of yesterday, but there were still some things that stuck in my craw. For one thing, it was hot today, and I have gotten overweight. (thank you, medication, you jerk) But I was able to read more Prydain, re-read some stuff for something that I have to get back to and finish, and I made it home alive. When there are trucks everywhere, that last is a blessing and a half.
Still blasted uncomfortable, but that’s just swelling and headaches. I am not sleeping much at all. I don’t think a single night has passed that I did not wake up in the dark and listen to my beehive thoughts for an hour. I’m too afraid to take a sleeping pill twice, but it’s the only thing that can make me fall asleep other than waiting until I’m so bored that I just stop. I wish I was being poetic or something, but honestly.
I’ve got my editing head on, and I’m not sure what to do with it. I mean, I do have something I’m supposed to critique, and I have plenty of critiques for it, but I don’t think I get the wording right. I don’t know how to be nice about this stuff.
Part or all of that is because of my philosophy. Being nice is stupid. Asking for someone to give you nice feedback is pointless. If it’s nice, it isn’t honest. Praise can be honest, but if one is being nice, then it usually isn’t. I also see it as devaluing the writer. Pandering does nothing for you.
The language could probably be softened, but again, why? Even antagonism is helpful, so long as it’s honest. If I tell someone that a work is just bad (thankfully not a problem in this case, but I digress) and that it needs to be scrapped, this is not being mean. It is saving time. This piece has been submitted for review, for editing. That means that any feedback renders it subject to revision, which is work. Which is time.
If the work is so flawed that it deserves no more of your time, why would you want to give it any more? I’ve tossed things. It’s not that bad. You just write something else.
This goes right in hand with my problem regarding shy writers. If you want to get published, you need to get used to the idea of strangers reading your work. You also need to get used to the idea of strangers reading your work and hating it. No matter how many revisions you share only with your most trusted sounding board or editor. I understand the fear of plagiarism and unethical copying, but I have also found that the people who I personally meet that worry about this stuff are not very good and therefore certainly in no danger of having an idea or work stolen.
This isn’t something I think invariably true in every case of people who have a tight WIP reading base. It’s just something I have witnessed to be frighteningly frequent.
Anyway, back to my problem of wanting to be blunt and fearing a need to tread delicately. It’s how I talk to myself. While editing, I will quite often blurt out, “That’s stupid,” followed by the tap-tap-tap of an urgent application of Backspace.
I’m far harsher on myself than anyone else. On anything. But people have such fragile egos. I’ve gotten backlash for criticising a movie someone liked. Heck, I’ve been publicly humiliated for daring to ever have a negative opinion and *gasp* willingness to voice it. I’m not even exaggerating.
I have gotten upset for getting criticism that amounted to my using a slang word that was easily identifiable in context. But you have to admit, that’s a petty criticism in comparison to, oh I don’t know… A major female character is portrayed as an excellent mother even though an equally prominent plot point is that she allowed the main character’s father to physically abuse him.
I guess that’s kind of complex, but ach. I have work to do.