Friends and Ego

An open book with a page bent in a heart-shape
My heart: my book

I’ve been away from writing and from all of you for some time now, but I swear it’s been a productive month.

In real life, I’ve been launching a new HTML5 website for CBC called The Massey Experience, which is pretty awesome if I do say so myself, AND we’ve been renovating our kitchen – resulting in this fabulous new space to cook and entertain.

Also in real life, my good friend, and prolific writer Mr. Joe Mahoney (@ilanderz) read my first book and did an intensive line-by-line edit of it that I am now applying to my manuscript.

When I gave it to him to read, I confess I did so with more trepidation than usual because he is a perfectionist when it comes to the craft. What’s funny is that I think he approached his resulting edits of my book with equal amounts of uneasiness. His unease came from worrying about hurting my feelings (sweet man!) and the amount my poor ego could take in terms of real criticism.

I have to say (and maybe it’s because I trust Joe and his skills having read and heard his work many times) that I was not in the least bit worried about his suggested edits – I was worried he wouldn’t like it, and that would have stabbed me right through my writer’s heart. It’s not true of everyone who has read my work, but I <think> my ego is tied to the concept of the book series with Portia and her journey through her cases and less tied to the actual words on the page.

What about you guys? Does it stab you straight through your writer’s heart when someone tells you that a sentence is ‘awkward’ or that your writing is needlessly formal in a scene? Or are you separate enough from your words to take the criticism with a grain of salt?

Author: Angela Misri

Novelist, Digital Strategist & Journalist

15 thoughts on “Friends and Ego”

  1. I find criticism is definitely a double edged sword–it burns a little at first but then gets me seeing things in a fresh, invigorating way. Lovely site and thanks for the follow!

  2. I love criticism. It’s great when people love reading your work but I also love hearing what could be improved, I am definitely of the ‘separate enough from my words’ camp, although like all forms of criticism I do take a step back and evaluate whether I agree with it or not. Sometimes you get told things because someone writes in a different style, not necessarily because what you wrote was awkward.

    1. Yup, and I think its that step back that is key. If you are SO protective of your words, that’s when criticism becomes not only useless to you, but also hurts you more.

  3. Criticism is very much needed. However, any body of work I do becomes somewhat like a child. I don’t want my child to be prodded but in the end most of the time you agree with the advice.

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