mugen shiyo Apr 19, 2012
I think we all know we are narcissists. Writers, by nature, have ideas or viewpoints they want to share with the world. I came here with the express intent of wanting people to read and comment on anything I posted. Now I just write and don't really care one way or another. But I do take a look at other peoples work mostly because I like looking at different peoples viewpoints through their writing. Even though it is not scholarship worthy, I appreciate the bare-bones of it. Something right from the mind and not sculpted for popular acceptance.

About the critiquing of art, you are absolutely right. It's how I felt when I first submitted my work for review. Art can't be critiqued...unless you are looking for it to be accepted by another person. Art is personal expression, but when you want it appreciated by more than yourself, you have to edit, mold, or structure your writing to appeal to the people you are writing for. While you may be writing or crafting your hearts trues dream out, while that vision might be unimpeachable to you no one else will care if they can't relate. That was one of the harder lessons I had to learn when starting to write. That my readers don't have to cater to my writing, my writing must cater to my readers. And because of that, there will definitely be a little sacrifice on the part of your personal vision.

As for how a person critiques...I have felt that most critiques that outline the bad parts are the best kinds. Praise me and I learn nothing, but show me my faults and I can always improve. I don't like the critiques that are really cloaked jabs, attempts to make a joke, really short, curt ones that seem to insult or offer no constructive feedback, or just plain fake or shallow replies.

What seems sad, sometimes, is to see on a writing site a person who writes something, posts it to be reviewed, and gets zero replies. For a writing site dedicated to helping everyone I would have at least expected the moderators to chip in and offer replies of their own at that point. But when I had some time to think on that, I realized that wouldn't be doing them any favors in the long run. As a writer, part of our work is going to be selling our writing. If we can't attract viewers we need to work on a way to do so. And if the work has zero replies, that IS a critique in itself.

Even after all this, though, I don't think I'll ever lose my ego ;)