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Old 04-30-2015, 07:09 PM View Post #2 (Link)
Isis (Offline)
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Originally Posted by Infinity_Man View Post
1. "There's No Other Way This Could Be Done"


Because yes, writing is hard. It's supposed to be. If it wasn't, everyone would be doing it--and, in my experience, nearly everyone does try and do it because they think it'll be easy; when you tell them you want to be a writer they casually say "oh, I've been thinking of writing a book too" as if it's something you can churn out in a weekend while sitting in a sun chair sipping on a mimosa.
That sounds familiar, actually ... I've done a lot of writing doing the Sad Person equivalent of sun chair + mimosa, which probably explains why it's taken me almost 3 years to get near the finish line on my first collection of poems.

Originally Posted by Infinity_Man View Post

6. "I'd Like To See You Do Better"


But more often than not, the situation really doesn't apply because skill in a field or art is not a requirement to have an opinion of that field or art, and all a critique is is an opinion. Some people can't handle hearing other people's negative opinions about them, so they try and diminish the worth of that opinion.

We don't need to have been world leaders to criticize our Presidents and Prime Ministers.
We don't need a medical license to be upset when the surgeon sews us up with his watch still inside us.
We don't need to be master chefs to send back a well-done steak we distinctly remember asking for rare.

So why the hell do we have to be accomplished artists in order to criticize art?

Either you're trying to set up some kind of elitist program where only master artists can qualify the quality of a work, or you're missing the point completely.
I think this is a really good point, and I like that you also point out that you've developed your ability to read and critique work by doing a lot of reading and critiquing. Skill in a field isn't required to have an opinion - but I think (and I guess you probably do too) that translating that opinion into something actually useful is for sure a skill, and one that gets developed over time. Often that skill deepens as experience with that field or form of art deepens. But it's not required. There are lots of great critics who can't write or paint or cook a lick, and lots of creative, challenging artists who try to critique something and word salad comes out instead.

I also think that approaching writing and critiquing as separate skills makes you (general you) better at both. They often get developed in parallel, but you need to put attention into both for them both to improve.
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