Baby Bean is Growing

 BabyFruit Ticker

Thursday, June 30, 2005

*snark snark snark*

Mom, remember that shirt that you bought me that said, "Plays well with others,"?

It lied.

I do NOT play well with others. I do NOT like to share my toys, and I most certainly do NOT like to be told what to do.

When writing the fan fiction The Prankster's Guide to Life, each chapter is written, in sections, by four different authors. We then combine the sections and we pass the combined document between the four of us, each of us editing and providing our own constructive criticisms to the others.

Only some are less constructive and more criticism.

I am not the only one who feels this way. After the first chapter was sent around for editing, I found myself in tears reading some of the comments, and I found out not long after that one of the other Pranklettes felt the same way. We tried to address the problem, but to very little avail.

The problem is that the girl who is making the comments that cut us to the quick doesn't see the problem with them. She thinks they are all in the name of a better product, and what's a little bloodletting among friends? I see them as insensitive, mean-spirited ways of addressing my shortcomings that could just as easily be addressed with a different tone. In fact, the majority of her comments are valid, she just makes them in such a way as to sound like she is completely right, I am completely wrong, and I should be ashamed of myself for wasting her time. She makes me feel like some kind of no-talent hack who only occasionally writes something decent -- and then probably entirely by accident.

(For example, I used the word "inherent" and her comment was, "That word doesn't mean what you think it means. How about automatically or no adverb at all?" I looked it up. It means *exactly* what I thought it meant: basic, intrinsic, etc. If she didn't like the qualifier, that's one thing; but telling me that I DON'T KNOW what I'm trying to say is a little like a kick in the shins. And that's not even the worst of them. She ended one with "for crying out loud" -- 'cos yeah, that's going to make me want to take her advice.)

It's taken me a WEEK to get through the current chapter -- not because it's upwards of thirty pages long, but because every time I sit down to address some of the comments on my sections, I get irritated and upset and have to take a break before I send myself into a funk and start to cry.

Why can't I be a big girl about this and just buck up and take it? Probably because I respect the girl who's saying all the snarky things to me. She's a good writer. I generally respect her opinions. When she insinuates that I'm stupid, it hurts.

I KNOW that I am a good writer. Better than most, at any rate. I think that's why I get so defensive when she acts as though I am not. It's just hard to draw the line between standing up for myself and inciting another "come to Jesus" meeting which nearly tore the project apart the first time.

I would quit this nonsense and spare myself the turmoil, but I really like the end product. I like what we're producing. I like what *I* am contributing to it. It's very well written and entertaining.

I just happen to think it could be equally well written and entertaining WITHOUT the vituperative comments.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Did you not have the companion "Runs with Scissors"? I am sure you did....

I'd tell you to consider the source, but that is exactly the problem....You have considered it and somehow find it(her) worthwhile despite your reaction to it (her). Keep walking. Arrogant commentary - no matter how apt or well meant - takes so little thought. Anyone can shoot from the hip - and tho some are dead on, there is no excuse for poor form and lack of class.