"A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house." (Matthew 13:57)
Or to put it in other words, seeing how I am not a prophet, a writer is also not without honour, save in his own country, and especially in his own house.
|Photo from http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Rejected.jpg|
I would normally omit most of the following experience, but as this post is about the experience of sharing, I suppose I should be honest. And I should admit that -- contrary to my expectations -- this exercise was very disheartening for me.
I have been writing in a personal blog for some time now, and I have been using the Notes app of Facebook since 2008. Occasionally people read the things that I've written. On rare occasions, they actually leave a sign of such by giving a Like or commenting. Sometimes it takes years before that happens, yes, but it does happen. Sometimes. And so I thought that this exercise would not be much of a challenge; all I had to do was what I do already, and specifically encourage some feedback.
Of course, since I don't exactly have friends in Provo -- or at least not the variety of friend that returns my calls -- I had to turn to the pseudo-friends of Facebook to ask opinions. It took a few days, some begging, soliciting, and my own mom declining to comment, but I eventually received some feedback.
...Well, not so much.
In general, I can take criticism. It may not make me happy while I receive it, but given time, eventually I can appreciate when someone is right about things I could improve. However, uninformed criticism, the kind of advice that I know would further weaken my writing if I followed it, that's a little more frustrating. For this assignment, the latter form of criticism is what I received from the two people who shared comments on my work. I don't know that mentioning specifics really adds anything to this post. All I will say is, they criticized my strengths and praised my weaknesses.
If there is one thing I learned to apply as a result of this assignment, it would be that I have to give some serious consideration to the style of writing that I do. My friends' reactions -- especially the lack thereof -- tell me that overall, people either don't care about what I write, or they don't understand my writing style... at all, really. So, seeing how I don't currently have the option of quitting writing entirely, maybe I need to consider what people actually want to hear from me.
That, or I will continue writing to nobody I know; when you fail at that, you've actually succeeded.