pheeweed wrote: I quit for a while because my attitude was wrong and I needed to get that right before I could come back.
But I do want to add this. I was not nearly as good a writer as I thought I was. I learned that from entering the challenge and reading the other entries. Once I accepted that, I was able to learn.
I also read every post in Jan's column and did the assignments. I learned a lot from that too. The yellow boxes are nice feedback from my peers, but I've learned not to expect most of them to offer a real learning experience.
I think maybe the most important thing I've learned from FW is what "show don't tell" actually means. I majored in creative writing in college, so I thought I knew all about it. I didn't.
After three years, I finally got an EC. Now I'm getting them fairly regularly. I always get a thrill, but I've come to the point where it's not the point anymore. I enter for the pleasure of writing and because I still need the structured challenge. So please stay with it and with FW because it will help you grow as a writer.
Great points! You beat me to it when you mentioned Jan's Writing Basics. I've referenced it many times. It's the best "free" course for any Faithwriter looking to improve his craft. I also suggest the library...another "free" source. Of course, there's nothing like professional feedback as a progress report to measure your improvements.
I, too, have no desire to beat the drums incessantly, but there needs to be another way to critique a Challenge article without having the comments attached to the article. Deb has articulated the why, but I can't get past the fact that my opinion is up against professional judges who may disagree.
As I stated before, I do not want to write permanently affixed, negative comments/suggestions on a "First Place" article. Call it pride, embarrassment, or a reluctance to accept, "See, you were wrong."
This also impacts the likeability factor for other non-Faithwriter readers.
To Graham's point, more constructive feedback might be forthcoming if comments were reviewed solely by the author rather than the internet population.