Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Karma in Critique

I know that many of you out there stay very busy with work and writing, or anything else that takes up most of the day. But, I implore you to consider taking on the additional task of occasionally critiquing or reviewing the work of others.
I used to absolutely hate (read HATE) taking on the task of reading someone's work critically. But, after basically being forced to take on such work in order to have my own work evaluated, I found that there is much to be learned from this activity.
I've learned more about my own writing by reading the work of others than I could have learn in three lifetimes on my own. I've learned what I, or many other readers, like and dislike--even when I cannot say, with any real authority, why. I've learned how to express my thoughts in a realistic and positive manner. I've developed a thick skin and a realistic view of my own talent. Most of all, I feel like I have learned how to write better by helping others write better.
What I'm trying to express here, is that sometimes there is much to gain by reading, critiquing, and reviewing the creative work of others. I've come to believe that the benefit derived by helping others in this way, can have a profound and positive effect on one's own writing.
So, in closing, take this post for what it's worth, but think about accepting the occasional task of checking the work of another writer. In the end, you might just be surprised how much personal benefit is gained by this simple gesture.