Thanks for coming back for Part IV of our National Honesty Day online party. We are chatting with some of our columnists about honesty from readers and reviewers and how they’ve handled that type of honesty.
National Honesty Day was created in the early 1990’s by M. Hirsch Goldberg, who wrote The Book of Lies. Mr. Goldberg is the former press secretary to one of the governors in Maryland. Since the 1st of April is April Fools’ Day, Hirsch created National Honesty Day to offset the silliness of that first day.
Meet our Columnists
We are privileged to have awesome columnists and guest contributors on our writing team. We have a variety of topics discussed in our monthly columns such as Animal Adventures, Books & Movie Reviews, Devotionals, Family Life, Flash Fiction, Gardening, Marketing, Vlogging, and Writing. Check out more details about our columnists.
Our columnists joining us today for the party are Jim Hughes, Sue Ford, and Sinmisola Ogunyinka. I’m excited to get back to chatting with our columnists!
Sinmisola, how do you move from honest criticism of your work toward making positive improvements to become a better writer?
I refuse to be discouraged whenever the critique seems harsh. Sometimes, I take a few days off to nurse my hurt, but then I bounce back by reflecting on the great reviews I’ve gotten in the past.
Jim, have you ever received an honest review from a reviewer that crushed your writing spirt?
I have received some comments on devotionals and posts that I post daily that have not been so favorable. I understand that everyone is not going to understand the intent of my comments or understanding of my understanding of the Scriptures. While it takes me aback at times, I do not let it stop me from doing what I do. I am intent on using my writings to honor and glorify Christ, so I cannot stop.
Sue, are you able to handle honest critiques from members in your critique group or writing community?
Most of the time! I may not agree with how something needs to be fixed, but if everyone in my critique group points out a problem, there’s a problem. I think critiques from agents/editors are harder when they are done through an event (versus an editorial letter) as these usually are limited portions of a manuscript. The person doesn’t know your writing in general or other projects. There’s a tendency for many of us to put too much hope into that kind of critique.
Sinmisola, what about you, can you handle honest critiques from members in your critique group or writing community?
Yes, I can.
Jim, what about you?
I try my best to see things from another’s perspective. If comments are an attack on me, it hurts and is harder to accept, but I do move on.
Sue, how do you move from honest criticism of your work toward making positive improvements to become a better writer?
The more a criticism hurts, the longer I let it simmer in the back of my mind while I do other things. That lets the sting go out of the hurt feelings and helps me understand what is really being said and what I need to learn. Remembering that the ultimate goal is to make my writing better is helpful, too. Then I work on getting better with whatever issue has been raised. I might read articles, blog posts, or books, or listen to talks.
I also get feedback from others if I think a comment is way off base. For example, I once had an editor dismiss my manuscript because the summer camp in my story was too short. I grew up attending one week of summer camp—so did my children—and that’s what I’d put in my story. This editor said summer camp was all summer. Wow, maybe for wealthy people, but not for anyone I know.
I hope you’re all enjoying this great online party with our columnists! I know I am.
Feel free to ask our columnists any questions by commenting below.
See you back soon for Part V of our party where we will chat with our columnists about how they are infusing honesty in their monthly columns at PBG. If you’d like to enter our giveaway, please comment below. We’ll be picking two winners. One will receive an ecopy of my inspirational romance novel, Mr. Shipley’s Governess and the other will win an ecopy of my novella, My S.E.D. Label.