Did You Just Call My Writing Ugly?

One of Melchior’s henchmen

When it comes to writing, Miss Crankypants is one of the proudest parents on the planet.Writers everywhere know the feeling. We nurture and discipline our baby writings. We feed them and we change their messy diapers. A LOT.  We cheer even when they get homemade awards and we cry when they fail to get that book deal.
Readers can inflate or crush our writing with their assessments. We proud mamas and papas live for the five star review–and we rationalize those one and two star stabs, comforting our writing by saying, “There, there. Dry your tears, honey. Sticks and stones . . .”
The one thing readers, editors agents and other writers dare not do is call a writer’s baby ugly. That’s when the claws come out.
Oh, you can criticize Miss CP all you want. Tell her she’s way too old to be wearing those skinny jeans. Meh. Point out that she could lay off the potato chips. You get the Death Stare, but that’s about it.
But never–ever–remark that her current Work-in-Progress is ugly. Them’s fightin’ words.
Miss Cranky is more than willing to rearrange your face if you even hint that her book is the homeliest nonsense you’ve ever laid eyes on. She’ll lay a karate move on you that’ll make Jackie Chan seem geriatric. And for extra punishment, she may shove her darlings right down your gaping maw. And then call in the knucklebreaking Cat Police.
Miss Crankypants’ 30 pound cat, Uncle Melchior, could take you. Really. So save yourself a lot of bad cliches about cement overshoes and say that her writing is like fine wine on a balmy spring day, or that it’s a shame that shortsighted Pulitzer committee overlooked Miss CP’s writing AGAIN. Even if you think a writer’s writing is the worst, always smile and say, “OOOH, I love that!”
Wait. Did you just call my writing ugly?
Listen, pal. Nobody’s baby’s ugly.  If you don’t believe it, Melchior will sit on your head until you scream, “Uncle!”

About Linda S. Clare

I'm an author, speaker, writing coach and mentor. I teach both fiction and nonfiction writing at Lane Community College and in the doctoral program as expert writing advisor for George Fox University. I love helping writers improve their craft and I'm both an avid reader and writer of stories about those with wounded hearts.

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