Tag Archives: annals of constructive criticism

Best Practices For Paradigm Shifts

There’s a vodka called Tito’s that reportedly has a moonshiner’s heritage and I drank too much of it.  As this happened, the enthusiasm for fishing at sunrise crescendoed but everyone else involved knew it would no longer come to pass.

The rod tube and sling resting by the door would remain so.

 In the morning, the moment of recognition to this did not come until after three tepid glasses of water and a round of seven push-ups.

Fishing and writing are two things I like to do that are predisposed to disappointment. Either from not doing them, or doing them and finding the effort unrewarded.

The rejection letter still sat better than the not fishing. Upon rereading, the supportive tone of it made it seem more injurious than it actually was. “You are a skilled writer but your submission lacks the necessary tension…”

I knew he was right. Without tension, I might as well have submitted instructions for building a cabinet. To paraphrase something someone else said once that deserves recap, “Get to the point, and make the point as uncomfortable as possible.”
 
He had me until the last sentence, “Good luck with your future writing!” Which seems innocuous but for the exclamation point. Whenever I see one of those¹ I want to snap it over my knee like bonfire kindling.
 
(1. Exclamation points should only be permissible in children’s books and text messages.)