glorybee wrote:I know that my yellow boxes as been perceived as too harsh at times, and there have been many times that I've backed away from leaving them, not wanting to hurt anyone's feelings. It's difficult to leave constructive critique on an anonymous entry, not knowing if the writer's mistakes are a chronic problem or a fluke, not knowing the writer's background or experience. Some commenters can get too heavy-handed--on the other hand, I have a real problem with commenters who give out "good jobs" to writing that is clearly not good at all.
I'm sure you've noticed I tend to leave quite a few comments. it used to be my belief if I really didn't think the article was good, I'd skip it and not say anything. But as I've learned how much comfort those gold boxes can be to me, I've changed my way of thinking.
Of course it feels good to receive the fluff comments, (so please don't stop leaving positive comments) but, it doesn't help me improve as a writer. This has been especially true for me in the Critique Circle. I want to do better if I'm posting my article there so let me know how I can improve.
The reverse is true in the cirle for me as well. I figure if you're posting in the circle, I assume you want some read ink. There I tend to be as completely honest as possible.
That's not to say in the challenges, I'm not honest, because I do try to give my honest opinion. It's just there I'm likely to point out only one or maybe two items that I think could be improved.
Finally, I believe the reader can find something positive to say about every article. I tend to try to say it like this:
1) First I always start with something positive.
2) If I see something that I think could be improved upon I'll point it out and often try to give an idea about how to fix it.
3) I then find another positive thing to say about the piece.
Every once in a while I'll receive an email from someone who defends their work. If this happens, I immediately send back an email explaining what I thought was wrong and ways I think it could be improved upon. Then I sincerely apologize for hurting their feelings. It is never my intention to hurt someone's feelings and I'm crushed to think I may have done so.
It seems to have worked for me. I've only received maybe 2- 3 emails when the writer felt I was harsh or I hurt their feelings. In each case I tell them my intention is only to help them become the best writer that they can be. in all cases they've written back and thanked me for my apology. Which is very good as I would dwell on the fact that I hurt someone and I'd never get any sleep.
Sorry Jan I didn't mean to ramble on for so long. I guess I strayed from the original homework, but I hope this is at least somewhat helpful
Blessings to all.