May is just around the corner, which causes for me to feel anxious about re-evaluating my time and my goals. I’ve probably been in this steady state of doing little-to-no writing because I haven’t been focusing on concrete goals lately. Instead of saying “I will write for xx minutes today,” I’ve just been thinking “I need to write, period.”
It’s not much of a motivation booster if you ask me. All those goal-setting worksheets, articles, etc. that I’ve read/worked on over the years have always said, “Make your goals concrete and realistic.” I thought maybe the Poem-A-Day Challenge would kick me up from my writing rut a bit, but I’ve fallen behind on the challenge a lot this month. Perhaps it’s a sign that I’m not quite as interested in poetry as I’d like to be.
On another note, lately I’ve noticed that one of my big writing/reading pet peeves is when supposed professionals make bad typos/grammar mistakes. It happens to the best of us, but where was the editor or peer before the article/writing went out? I find that when I edit others’ works, sometimes I’ll notice the grammar/spelling mistakes more than the actual writing itself. It bothers me that much–I remember reading a paper in college for peer review and I felt in true disbelief about how my colleague was able to even gain admission into college. Really, the paper was poorly written–a lot of run-on sentences, grammatical errors, etc.–I felt bad when I gave the paper back to my peer because it had all red marks over it.
Meanwhile, this leads into another pet peeve of mine: when I ask for constructive criticism from others, but they simply return my draft back saying “Wow, really good” or “Nothing needs to be changed” or something else along those lines. Often times, these people might just be too lazy to say much or really put effort into the editing process; other times, they might be so clouded in judgment (and maybe automatically put a halo over my work) that they tend to not see the loopholes I’ve left in my draft. The most helpful writing advice often borders harsh, yet has enough evidence to back up the criticism. I’d rather someone tell me what I need to work on more than to tell me that I don’t need to change anything anymore. I know I’m not a perfect writer, and, in general, everyone always has something they can improve upon.