But I'm waiting for this picture to scan at 900 friggin' dpi, so while I do...
Kita talks in her blog today-ish, about changing and improving as a writer, and how some of that comes from people being willing to tell you when you're smoking bad crack vs. good crack, as it were. I agree. I'm not very brave about telling people about their bad crack, and I'm ultra-sensitive about being informed that I've been smoking it, but I agree.
I take my knowledge of that fact to extremes, though. With me, the ultra-sensitive part isn't the need to tell my critic where they can shove their crack-pipe, but the tendency to believe them immediately, and obssess over it. Kita's right -- "Writing is an art form, and talent is subjective, and for every hideous fic someone writes, there are ten other someones waiting around to go "that ROCKED!" and shower the lousiest of all fics with effulgent praise onlist.
I tend to assume that the positive comments can't be trusted. I find *reasons* they can't be trusted. "She's my friend, so she's not objective." (That one's insulting, I know. I didn't say it was sane, or accurate.) "That story hit her personal kink, and I know what that kink is, so her opinion of the writing is blinded by the fact that I included X. Or wrote it in style Y." "She likes things that *I* think are crap, so even though I respect her writing talent, her opinion of other people's work is questionable." None of these things are true, or fair -- they're just what goes through the mind of a neurotic writer who's had the feeling from the beginning that she's faking it, and sooner or later everyone's going to find out.
And just as I downgrade the praise, much as I squeal over it when it happens, I also let that one negative comment from someone I like and respect become the most important one, because it stands out -- even if five of those ten people who said "That rocked," are also people whose judgement I respect. Doesn't mean that comment wasn't *right* -- it means I have very little perspective in judging whether it was or wasn't. I automatically assume it was -- and quite often it hits my secret fears about whatever I was doing wrong with a story, with deadly accuracy, so that doesn't help. I don't have the distance to be able to stand back and decide whether I'm obssessing over it because the comment happened to feed my insecurity, or because it's an accurate representation of something that I really screwed up when writing the story.
You know, I wasn't even going to talk about that -- I'm over the particular incident that spawned my worries most recently, and I *do* have some perspective on it. That's just a glimpse into the way I behave on the whole, when dealing with criticism, constructive or otherwise. (Actually, I *love* the sort that says "Why don't you try this?" or "Actually, this was a bit off -- he'd talk like that, surely, not the way you had him say it. Or he'd behave this way." Those things, I can think about, and maybe fix. I don't think a story is a frozen object, once you post it. Things can be rewritten and improved. It's the locs that say "That story didn't work for me," that throw me into downer-mode, because what can I do about the whole story? It's done. It's written. If the premise on which it turns sucks, then... Well, I guess it just sucks.)
Ahem. What I was actually going to comment on is the changing over the body of work, thing. That is, looking at someone's first story, vs. what they wrote last week, and seeing that they've improved. (Or maybe haven't.)
I have a funky situation: I'm still *writing* my first story! Oh, I guess you could look at the tiny W/T songfic-with-the-song-removed, which was the *actual* first thing I ever posted, but my first piece of m/m fic was CG. Or, more specifically, "Count Spikeula." With an E, thank you. Not Spikula. Have I changed, and has my writing style changed, since I wrote that? Lordy, yes. Sometimes I think it's for the better, sometimes I think I've lost a certain smoothe, simpler feel thatI had in those early stories, and it feels forced when I try to recreate some of the telltale things I did back then. Direct thoughts in brackets. Spike's internal voices. I wonder if, having written on this story/series for som long, I haven't done something to its internal consistency, by changing, possibly improving, along the way.
And that is all. Because the damn scan is done, which is a pickle of me at the Blueberry Festival several years ago, holding an disturbingly large lemon-ice. So Themselves will know who to look for at the MARTA station, assuming they're online before then.
So if you wanna point and laugh, it's behind the cut tag.
Hell, ain't like you can't find 'em on my website if you hunt around.