These lessons, by one of our most consistent FaithWriters' Challenge Champions, should not be missed. So we're making a permanent home for them here.
I have never been a proponent of the yellow boxes. I could never find a valid reason why they should not have a short shelf life. For a long time, I never wanted negative comments on my Challenge articles because the boxes did not have an expiration date. Then it occurred to me that my attitude was all about me and my foolish pride. I decided that if someone was really interested in my articles, then they would come to their own conclusions based on what THEY knew about its merits despite the comments.
I also do not believe that one should shy away from comments just because they don't know all the rules of the game (although I've recently had to remind myself of this) . As one of those who have erred a time or two when commenting, I firmly believe that mistakes are just another opportunity to learn.
If someone writes a comment that is clearly incorrect, it should be lovingly brought to their attention. It is incumbent upon the one who erred to graciously receive the correction. This becomes a win-win for all.
We should never be ashamed when mistakes happen, and we should never be judged by them.
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I write even when I think I can't, because I must.
I love to write. Nothing escapes the crush I have on the written word. I'm hooked on words!!
"Let words bewitch you. Scrutinze them, mull them, savor them, and in combination, until you see their subtle differences and the ways they tint each other." Francis Flaherty
I believe an in-depth critique can be one of the most valuable gifts that we are blessed with as writers. How we receive these critiques may be the factor that determines whether or not we grow.
At first it was hard to not take the critiques personally, but I decided to be grateful for every single bit of feedback that I got. Receiving the critiques has gotten so much easier.
I was afraid to give critiques when I started, but I wanted to give back to others since I had been so blessed in this way. I always tried to pray first and would leave two positive comments for every negative thing I pointed out. I think that critiquing challenge entries has made me a better writer and self-editor.
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I'm sorry, Jan, for not seeing this before. I must have been super busy in my own life and away from FW at the time you posted this lesson.
One thing not yet mentioned about the benefits of the "little yellow boxes" - because they're permanent, they can help other authors learn from one author's learning experience. Those constructive critiques that stung my pride at the beginning and helped ME grow can in turn help another aspiring author. I am definitely one who learns from observing others and their mistakes so I don't make them in turn. Something like the Critique Circle which privately helps me understand the weaknesses in my writing doesn't help someone else struggling with the same issues. So, as difficult as it is to push that submit button for a constructive comment, understand you're helping more than the author - you're helping others who read your comment. Also, if one commenter is bold enough to point out something other readers of the article notice, then others will feel confident to say they noticed the same. This happened to me here (incidentally Jan was the commenter who inspired another to comment the same).
I stand by my offer for you to do what you would do in the Critique Circle or privately to one of my Challenge pieces in the forum. It would definitely help others to see the weaknesses in my writing critiqued, in addition to the benefits to me. And then people could also see how a good critique is structured. I'm not one to be at all offended when I'm giving you permission to go at it en force.
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