Paid writing job

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Hidden clue

I have had my first paid writing job. That is a noteworthy milestone. It wasn’t a big deal for anyone but me, but it was so much fun. The assignment was to write a detective story for children, with a manuscript for a guide, hidden clues for the children and location descriptions. It was to be held as a detective walk where the children followed a story and clues through the park at a local outdoor museum.

The detective walk has been held twice already, and will be held twice more. I had to go to the museum last weekend and observe the group of small detectives, with hats and magnifying glasses, trotting through the park looking for clues. The parents might have found it weird that the same woman was sitting on a bench close by every time they turned around, but how could I not?

 

Different kinds of critique

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In the beginning, when I started showing my writing to others, I was just grateful that anyone would take the time to read and comment it. A part of me still is. Reading to give feedback takes a lot of time, though I suspect that several of us actually like the opportunity to tell others how to do things better. A lot of us, probably.

After three and a half year of working on my writing I have noticed a huge difference in how I respond to different kind of feedback. Specifically negative feedback.

I would expect to hate negative feedback, but a lot of it makes me happy, honestly. One criteria is that is has to be constructive. If you make it sound purely like personal preference, I will most likely disagree with you out of self-defence.

I love critique that makes me see a pattern in my own writing that can be improved, something that does not only make the text better, but me as a writer, better. That got to be my favourite kind of critique.

I also like feedback on stupid mistakes. I am so relieved for the opportunity to remove them. If you take the chance to point out that I am stupid at the same time though, it makes it difficult to not throw the whole comment away. And this is where the difference lies.

Good feedback for me is objective. Personally loaded comments, on the other hand, makes me unapologetically defensive.

I also find that I get in a critical mood myself, when receiving feedback, so if you write with a lot of spelling errors, or make sentences that are hard to decipher, I get frustrated and irritated.

That being said, I love my most critical readers. Some weeks ago, my sister called me out of the blue, to give me some feedback on my latest short story, just because she knows that I like it. I were impressed with how many things she pointed at, things that I myself only had a vague unsatisfied feeling about.

I wouldn’t have had half as much progress without my readers taking time to give me feedback. Thank you!