So much for kindness. The writer's life is difficult. We are not talking about missing commas or phantom apostrophes here. Nothing from the battered grammar book of my first days of teaching English.

I'm talking about the way rejection feels. The sting of a no even after a hundred yes responses. I don't know that it ever gets easy to take that no.

This is particularly true of the few reviewers I have read who treat reading submissions like kicking an animal. These are the responses that used to make me wallow for days, weeks, maybe even months. How could I be so inadequate at the writing life when I love composition so much?

It's a simple answer. I'm not perfect, but those biting criticisms just need braces. I've found this to be true in my own feedback. Sure, if I wanted I could hammer each missing part or weak point of a piece, but I would rather instruct with kindness.

It is the weak who are unkind, I have been told, and I would rather find what is beautiful and compliment it (even with a few suggestions here and there for improvement) instead of gloating over each fault. I would rather err on the side of grace and try to offer constructive feedback.

Some words do need to be chopped, but I'm not sure that means writing can't be nourished at the same time.


Tennessee, US

JD DeHartComment