Wednesday, June 29, 2005


Is it my destiny to be completely slammed by people? I'm taking an online creative non-fiction class. I woke up this morning to check my email and received a message from a member of my new online small writing group. Her message said that her comments usually caused people to be discouraged with their writing, so if she was too harsh or critical that I should let her know. At this point, before reading any feedback, her comments are too harsh and critical. I mean, really. You would only say that if you were being too harsh and critical. I finally read her comments. She, of course, picked out some lower order concerns and gave me some very generic comments--specific details, narrow your focus, blah, blah, blah. I already knew that stuff. I really wanted a movie of her mind. I wanted someone to see what I was trying to say but not quite saying.

I'm in the writing project right now, and her comment really contradicts everything we are doing. To go back to what she said, "I'm one of those English teachers who makes people feel discouraged about their writing." If you are an English teacher and you are making people feel discouraged, shouldn't you re-think your tactics when discussing writing. Something is wrong.


Marcia said...

You know, you might be able to tell her this and give a plug for the Missouri Writing Project at the same time.

What's wrong with saying, "From the research I've done over the years, and especially with the MWP this summer, those types of comments are the least helpful. I'd prefer that you comment with a movie of your mind (or whatever type of feedback you want) and here is what I mean by that..."

Really. I think you could finesse it. Meanwhile, I feel for you! :)

Keri said...

I think it is really weird that we were totally thinking the same thing. So, the happy end to this story is that I told her about "movies of your mind" and she tried it. The comments were so much better. My brother and sister say that I'm not very good at finessing. I have such strong initial reactions, if that makes sene. But I think that I am improving on finesse every day.