Life in progress

#SoCS – Critical Thinking

19 Comments

I don’t like criticizing people. Okay, maybe I do criticize members of my family and my best friend once in a while (shut up, John), but people I don’t know very well–people who might take my criticism the wrong way–I don’t like to criticize. Why not? Because I don’t want them to think I’m judging them. I like to think of myself as non-judgmental. Really, I don’t judge.

So what did I do? I chose editing as a career. Possibly one of the most critic-heavy jobs one can do. I criticize people’s writing for a living.

Maybe it’s being critical without being judgmental that’s the biggest challenge for me. And I do love a challenge. What I do NOT do is judge people’s writing. I don’t judge people on their ability to write a certain way, or on their lack of knowing the difference between “discrete” and “discreet,” for instance.

Look at it this way:

I can tell you your fly is open without judging you. That might be seen as criticizing your ability to remember to do your fly up, but still, I don’t judge you for it. I assume it was a mistake and that you’re not trying to flash me. My biggest reason for telling you is so you’ll do it up before someone comes along and laughs at you for it, less discreetly than I did.

The difference between that and editing? After all, ideally, I edit before someone indiscreetly points and at you and judges you for not knowing the difference between “discrete” and “discreet.”

The difference is, you don’t have to spend thousands of hours learning how to notice someone’s fly is down. You just have to have a good eye. Or a bad eye. Don’t judge me!!

SoCS badge by Pamela, at https://achronicalofhope.com/

This very late, very non-judgmental post is brought to you by Stream of Consciousness Sunday Saturday. Click the following link to find all the other critics posts for this week. It’s fun! https://lindaghill.com/2019/02/22/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-feb-23-19/

Author: LindaGHill

There's a writer in here, clawing her way out.

19 thoughts on “#SoCS – Critical Thinking

  1. I loved reading this! You’re hilarious!

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  2. The posts this week were great to read. Thanks for a great topic. Now if you can teach me not to fear an editor that would be great!

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    • I just found an awesome quote, actually, that might help: “The more you leave out, the more you highlight what you leave in.”
      ― Henry Green
      What I take from this as an editor is that the right set of eyes can find all the awesome things you’ve written and all the awesome but unnecessary things you’ve written and differentiate between the two. Clear communication between you and your reader is what makes reading easy and fun. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Very well-written. It’s the most fun to judge people when they’re already judging themselves. Also, good eyes are a rare commodity. *insert senseless monkeys here*

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  4. Hey, what’d I say? Oh, different John…

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  5. Great post! I’ve been fortunate that the editors who gave my three novels (and one professional book) their critical eye, never had me feeling that my errors — and there were errors because IMO no author can forgo editing by another, no matter how well they write — did not point to any flaw in me but only to technical issues in my draft that needed remedying. Whether it was copy-edits or questions about inconsistencies or ambiguities or a character’s depth, the edits offered critic, not judgment. I’m glad yours is the same because I don’t think I’d wanna work with an editor who judged.
    It is interesting how it this day and age, critic itself can be seen as judgment. Even disagreement. … When intent and manner (as well as setting and circumstance) often make all the difference.
    I’m fairly active on Social Media (sometimes on all manner of current events), and I find myself saying — on Twitter, on Facebook, whatever — that “we should be able to disagree without being disagreeable.”
    Critic isn’t insult. At least, it ought not to automatically be.
    Good one. Linda!
    Na’ama

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  6. Wait, there’s a difference beteeen “discrete” and “discreet?” I’m not even sure I knew they were both out there. Editing without judging is not always easy. I’m glad you can separate the two.

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  7. I would love to have an editor critique my writing. A good editor is priceless!!!!

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  8. Excellent Linda, it must be hard reading all those words and spotting errors. It can’t be easy! I do love your SoCs …even if you are late… That’s not a criticism…well it’s non judgemental …🤣🤣🤣💜💜

    Liked by 1 person

  9. This is an excellent reminder that pointing out technical errors in work is not a personal attack. I have known writers who been unable to take any editing without getting angry and defensive.

    Personally, I love it when a good editor goes over my work and shows me the errors and how to fix them. I know where I am weak (commas for example. I think I’m getting better with punctuation in general, but I still tend to get commas wrong.)

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Thank you so much for this Linda. It’s my first time to be part of this and it’s fun! Can’t wait for the next one.

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