Wedding Woes

Did you 'critique' it or full on trash it?

Dear Prudence,

“Cheryl” and I are both writers who connected through the internet. We’ve never met in real life, but we have common interests and enjoy each other’s writing. However, recently, she sent me a piece that had some pretty major issues that I considered uncharacteristic of her. I sent her a long list of grievances I had with the piece, and perhaps I was a little less tactful than I could have been. She neither accepted the critique happily nor negatively, but merely sent me a curt note back acknowledging receipt. I feel incredibly awkward now. It would almost be preferable if she had called me a bitch and told me to go screw myself. I didn’t respond, as I’m completely caught off guard and have no idea how to move forward. Do I ask if everything’s OK? Change the subject and talk about something else entirely? Say nothing and wait for her to email me again? Help!

— Kill Your Darlings

Re: Did you 'critique' it or full on trash it?

  • Give it a bit of time.  Then reach out to her and ask her how she's doing.

    And let this be a lesson that if you don't actually know the person, be careful before you actually let it all out without a filter. 
    charlotte989875
  • Is critiquing/editing part of their normal exchanges and this was more intense than normal or did LW randomly gut a piece out of the blue? Just need to know for my personal annoyance level. Either way, reach out and apologize, ask if Cheryl is comfortable continuing to share writing as they have been and accept whatever she says. 
  • You’re an asshole leave her alone. “A long list of grievances”?!? What is this nonsense. An editor doesn’t have grievances they make suggestions and comments. You majorly overstepped and are now trying to make her responsible for your own bad behavior. 
    charlotte989875MesmrEwe
  • I think the LW should give it some time and then reach out like they normally would to ask how things are going and not mention the piece of writing.

    However, if the other person doesn't reply back, the LW needs to take the hint.

    I also find the word "grievance" an interesting word choice, especially from someone who I assume chooses words carefully.  The word "grievance" has a negative connotation and I usually think of it as being a complaint.  For this kind of online relationship, I'd think what they are looking for from each other is "constructive criticism" about their writing.  But that wasn't the phrase the LW used.

    Especially if this particular piece was uncharacteristic of the friend's writing, the LW should have said something like that and kept the constructive criticism much shorter, instead of a "long list".  Like, "Friend, I know you're an excellent writer, but I do have some critiques on this piece where I think it missed the mark."  Then pick out a few things as an example of that with suggestions for improvement.  
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    banana468mrsconn23VarunaTTcharlotte989875
  • I think the LW should give it some time and then reach out like they normally would to ask how things are going and not mention the piece of writing.

    However, if the other person doesn't reply back, the LW needs to take the hint.

    I also find the word "grievance" an interesting word choice, especially from someone who I assume chooses words carefully.  The word "grievance" has a negative connotation and I usually think of it as being a complaint.  For this kind of online relationship, I'd think what they are looking for from each other is "constructive criticism" about their writing.  But that wasn't the phrase the LW used.

    Especially if this particular piece was uncharacteristic of the friend's writing, the LW should have said something like that and kept the constructive criticism much shorter, instead of a "long list".  Like, "Friend, I know you're an excellent writer, but I do have some critiques on this piece where I think it missed the mark."  Then pick out a few things as an example of that with suggestions for improvement.  
    Exactly.

    And I think the LW is someone who thinks far more highly of themself than...true?  
    levioosashort+sassycharlotte989875
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Did Cheryl even ask for feedback? 
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