Wow! It has been a busy week. Midterms have prevented me from doing anything remotely fun. Now let’s couple that with life and its daily challenges to my sanity. The end result is me being physically and mentally tired.
I try to remain updated on the fiasco that is called American politics. In fact, politics is my vice. I spend a few hours a day reading and listening to various political views. The degree I am seeking is politically based. I watch a total of 4 different national news channels every morning.
A question my teenage son once posed to me was, “Dad, why do you watch so many different news channels?” My response was long and probably too drawn out to keep a teenager’s attention. It boiled down to, I like to watch all the myriad views and formulate my own educated opinion. Now, he sits quietly on the couch every morning and watches 4 channels of news with me. He doesn’t complain. He has learned that all of them are biased to some degree. Watching his mental growth is a pleasure to me. Continue reading
This week, word guru Chuck Wendig has offered a different spin on his weekly Flash Fiction Challenge. He asks to write a summary of a simple phrase, “Why I write?” Three simple words have a layered and complicated answer.
Why do I write? I have often stared into the mirror, examining the haggard face mocking my every move and wondered the same thing. I have written many things over the years, but never have I actually set out with the purpose of writing stories for the entertainment of others. Unlike other writers I have not: 1) been writing stories since I was a toddler 2) had a life changing experience that gives me a desire to write 3) been writing for years, honing the craft to perfection 4) suffered a loss that could only be expressed through written word 5) been abducted by mimes and held at imaginary gunpoint over an invisible typewriter forced to tell the history of the International Association of Assassin Mimes and Reptile-Training Plumbers. None of these things caused me want to write. Continue reading
I was recently asked twice in the same day how I felt about criticism. In two words: go ahead. In three words: Bring it on!
My honest opinion is that criticism is needed in all forms. Being able to accept criticism is perhaps a bit more difficult. The biggest reason I feel many people are so afraid of criticism is that a lot of people out there are unaware of how to offer criticism. Criticism is not meant to be a personal attack….ever. Attacking someone does nothing to help them. If you choose to offer someone, anyone any form of advice and your wise words drift into an angry narrative, then you my friend have missed the point entirely.
Criticism is supposed to offer bits of honest advice that will hopefully end in the recipient being better at a craft. One word there really struck me. Honesty. When you offer up advice to help someone, you should be honest. Being overly nice can often be as detrimental as attacking someone. Lauding undeserved praise can give someone a false sense of accomplishment. Which in turn may end with that person not becoming better at a given craft.
Be honest, yet being brutally honest can be hurtful to some. Not me. I’m a jerk. 🙂 It seems the more I write on this the more I am struck with why some people hate criticism and why others hate to give criticism.
Criticism is a great cliff made of muddy earth. It is a slippery slope that can end in twisted ankles and broken arms once you have committed. However, that same slope could end with a few small bumps that you learn to avoid on your next trip. It may also cause you to turn away from the cliff next time and never attempt a possibly fun ride. Handled correctly, you can ease a person down the cliff of criticism so the person learns the easiest path and learns which places to never visit again because it only hurts. This way results in a fun trip down the mudslide, and the next trip will be even better!
My 2 coppers for what it’s worth.