It ain’t easy judging our own writing. Sometimes we’re our harshest critics, berating ourselves for not meeting irelevent or uninformed aspirations. Other times we’re way too soft on ourselves. Is it even possible to find a happy medium?
by Brian McDonald
A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.
– Thomas Mann
Don’t write for other writers. People are drawn to writing for different reasons and many people do it to seem smart. If you have a good first act, most will never recognize it, because they’re not really clear on what a first act does. They know nothing of construction, but will turn their noses up at the idea of it anyway. The less they know about it the more they will object to it.
The one thing I have noticed about people who are exceptional in their creative work is that they are always trying to get better. That’s how they got good in the first place. These people judge themselves against the best work. They aim for the top.
Just worry about the craft and the art will take care of itself.
The term self-expression has had a harmful impact on storytellers. Stories are not about the storyteller. If your focus is on yourself, then it is not on what is best for your story.
Learn to look at your work as if it isn’t your work. Be as hard on yourself as you would anyone else.
Learn from the masters. Figure out how they did what they did, why it worked, and apply it.