Learn to Deal & Not Deal With Writing Critics

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Learn to Deal & Not Deal With Writing Critics

I don’t think everything I write is perfect.

But then again nothing anybody ever does is. Perfection is a nasty voice, snarling in our heads. So, come to think of it, maybe my shit’s about as close as anyone ever gets.

What to think when someone suggests you lack the humility in writing to be their pal.

The best bet, in my opinion, is to always take criticism for what it might have to offer. Therefore, look at the yourself and then at the source, and consider whether that life being lived merits admiration, envy or anything good. Then, pursue your own ego integrity, seeing yourself honestly as the GREAT person you aspire to be and fuckin’ ARE in many other’s eyes.

The Pettiness Pool

Sewage Scribing At Its Finest

A poet wrote to me to inform me that I had a “pathetic life,” and that my poems were all “toilet graffiti.”

The worst thing about this for me was that I didn’t think of “toilet graffiti.”

I’m as competitive and nasty as any other poet. It’s a rough trade, and not a good place for people with thin skin. When people attack me and my work with rage and passion I always look carefully at the kind of work they are doing, as I did with my “toilet graffiti” gal pal.

Oh well, everybody needs a win once in a while. I hope she enjoyed hers because I guarantee that her silly scribblings are never going to do much for her.

When we can help one another here, all the better.

When we can’t we need to just shut the fuck up.

How to Respond to Literature Critics & Wannabe Writers On Facebook 

If sarcasm is a dodgeball, then satire is the gargantuan kid hurling it at your head. Without these tools, your literary voice is a cricket chirping in a thunderstorm. One would think any aspiring writer would understand and develop satirical writing but instead social media herds authorship's Dunning-Krugers to where they comment on writing they don't understand and often cannot read for having only an elementary reading level: case in point:

Harry Puder

So the critics commented, and I responded with equal spite, but creatively as any author should:

Such bad taste!

My Response

Go good sir, into the literary fray! Oh, readers know not what awaits them. Forceful in the obvious, you shall educate them all. Unrelenting in your quest to overlook deeper meaning, you prove a worthy adversary. Cloaked in the truth, you make your stand against the armies of literary masters. Know your bravery is not overlooked by us mere fiction writers. You are the hallmark of toneless, meaningless literature. Overt in plain phraseology, you are the directionless, bellowing foghorn in the storm of cultural demise. Unfettered by the chains of imagination, you conquer the literates. Racing through the battlefield of meaning, you drive the sword of transparency into your foes. Slaying poetry’s hidden meaning. Exterminating the scoundrels once revered as masters. Lunging the sword of the unknowing self-righteous to the bitter end. Fighting the good fight always; go good sir!

Sarcasm is a sign of a weak mind.

My Response

Feedback like this is priceless. Unsurpassed in value, your comment is the force of literary change. Close to my heart, I hold this thought forever. Knowing I have secured a new wisdom, I return to the challenge of writing. Your wisdom is truly appreciated! Onward I proceed, reborn in your sage counsel. Undeterred by my failures, I forge ahead with your words at my back.

Satire is a big, fat nothing burger.

My Response

A true master of the written word speaks to me. Such profundity, I have never known! Such imagination the master wields! How will I repay such knowledge? O, there is no repayment. Lowering myself, I can only kneel in my unworthiness. Entreating the master, I beg for more bits of wisdom.

Hard pass.

My Response

Another intellectually stimulating response. So potent is your good advice, I am overwhelmed. Supremely grateful for your time and wisdom- I thank you. How many writers are blessed the way I am with your attention? Only myself, I am sure. Like a man drenched in holy water, I bath in the purity of your language. Environed in your sacred words, I am in awe!

Oh! I need a nap. The virtue signalling is so tiring.

My Response

Commenting of this magnitude is without compare. One could only hope for such wisdom to be imparted so freely. Cheers, mate! Know that you are well deserving of this toast.

Is this for real?

My Response

Creative, omnipotent commenting knowledge!

People should boycott Netflix.

My Response

Just go fuck yourself!

Yo, Humble-pie Munchers, Suck on This!

In honor of a former pal who questioned my humility quotient.

A big part of his accusation that I lacked “humility” seemed to flow out of his deep prosperity gospel faith and enough gaslighting fluid to blow up this prideful, unfair world — Hail Jesus!

Writing poems, or writing anything else for that matter, about and for one’s self is tricky enough, but writing them for others, for the whole world, or at least that part of it that reads poems can be a humbling experience if one has that pesky humility gene. Good news here? I don’t.

Think about it. You sit staring at the white space, hoping/letting/allowing words to come to you.

Waiting for words to simply arrive that will work to say whatever it is you feel/intuit/sense in some way is A thing or THE thing that needs saying.

Or at least that, you need to say.

And so you type, allowing it to flow, not forcing it because that never works.

But letting it come out of you, like blood oozing from an open wound.

Sometimes gushing, sometimes trickling, dripping.

All this in the high and somewhat delusional hope that what you end up with is pretty much what you began wanting to say way back when.

You slam on a final piece of punctuation, re-read what you’ve written and realize, “Yeah, that’s pretty close… I think… Wait… What?”

Then you revise a bit, and a bit more and a bit more and more, all the while telling yourself that someone, somewhere will likely get what it is you’re saying. But even if no one else ever will, you ultimately decide, “Well, be that as it may” (or some equally clichéd, bullshit phrase) “This is my poem and I’m done with it now. And, what the fuck, at least I like it.”

Humility, yeah, sure, okay, I suppose it’s handy for some things, somewhere, but for writing poems (or much of anything else for that matter)…

Forget about it. Period.

What kind of an asshole writer writes an asshole comment on an article about asshole writers commenting?

Just because you can doesn’t mean you should comment.

What kind of an asshole writer writes an asshole comment on an article about asshole writers commenting?

Reading an article titled “How to make yourself look like an asshole by reading?” should invoke hesitation to comment, especially having not read the article, yet the asshole writer boldly pushes through trepidation. Such courage pauses one to consider the force compelling the asshole’s commenting, for there must be some engine of purpose powering seeming stupidity.

Perhaps he is the internet moralist, having learned ethics from his preoccupation with social media and now views all articles with even a hint of negativity as bad. He is an ethicist of unbridled passion that takes the side of anyone or anything he remotely sees as the underdog, the oppressed, or the victimized. A character so democratic he will attack anyone, regardless of their point, for being a meanie. Satire and sarcasm fool him not and raises the shield of defensive comments to bar the nastiness holding no place in his digital world. He protects the Dunning-Krugers, trolls, liberals, ignorant creationists, social advocates, and all others the same, not because illiteracy steals his objectivity. No, he is a proud stalk of literary pride and freedom grown in the internet monoculture that ethicizes indignation is never justified — ever.

Possibly he is a mysterious word master, challenging us to see deep into his commentary’s obviousness. He is a writing writer who writes what he means and means what he writes. He is no pursuer of literature’s essence but the words in front of the meaning. Like a dove, he descends from Heaven, landing on Bukowski’s grave, covering it with wisdom’s droppings,

Sarcasm is the refuge of a weak mind.
If you have something to say, then say it.
I write like I talk and think.

Such insight, he gifts us with comments possessing the literary truth of reality television fueled by the persuasiveness of Kim Kardashian’s ass. Relentless, he fearlessly criticizes, deflecting every rhetorical hazard of nuanced meaning, simile, metaphor, and symbolism with the cowcatcher of realism’s runaway locomotive. When he writes, he scribes amazing stories compressed with such unquestionable truth, no need arises to read beyond the titles.

People in war die: that’s bad!
People being mean online is bad.
Writing on Medium good.

Alas, perhaps he is the man who felt the embarrassment of liking a post on Facebook or Twitter after learning he threw a hearty thumbs-up to some proselytizing evangelical Nazi or some smarmy marketer selling something. Maybe he angered and viciously commented on the superficial meaning of a sardonic article only to feel remorse upon realizing he actually agreed with the writer. Now, he vies against all forms of satire, sarcasm, or anything multilayered in meaning, demanding tags and trigger warnings appear prominently on those articles to avoid suffering further humiliation.

You will mark your article as satire, so you don’t confuse people!
You need a trigger warning!
Poe’s law! Poe’s law!

Underpinning his rage and unbeknownst to him, another voice blares the truth for all to hear,

“I am an asshole!”


Let the bullshit flow, in the flavor of your choice

Academia can destroy just about anything.

When we put the phrase “The study of” in front of any subject we’ve already kicked its ass a little in potential to be fun/interesting/ engaging/life-changing.

Stories have a long history, and academia has ruined more than its fair share of them.

As a storyteller I have this to say: you won’t get what I need you to get by “studying” a story I’ve written, whether in movies/books or any other means of delivery.

The only way you can get what is most important, indeed, the ONLY important part of any story comes from stepping into them emotionally, handing over your heart and mind, and letting the story have its way with you.

If it doesn’t change you, you’re wasting your time.

And the storyteller, for you at least, has wasted his.

How to make yourself look like an asshole by reading.

How to make yourself look like an asshole by reading.

Writers & Critics Not Reading Is A Blessing!

Not so long ago, I hated referring to myself as a writer for not wishing to include myself in the ilk of illiterate authors. Tragically and unbelievably, I once assumed writers either lacked reading ability or just didn’t bother to read, using only their irrelevant commenting as my evidence. How wrong I was!

Wisdom seems to dictate writers should actually read the articles they deemed worthy enough to receive a comment, but my foolishness for thinking this way soon revealed when discovering their plan. Yes, nonreading authors wield an elaborate strategy that, oh so subtly, tricks me into critically thinking about their comment by camouflaging it in ignorance: a brilliant means of making me learn more about the article’s subject.


How truly sad I once thought those commenters were illiterate assholes pretending to be real authors. Who’s the fool now for thinking them dumb for not understanding satire, for skimming articles, or for aiming a comment at the title with no regard for the content? Luckily, I have learned.

Now I know what to do when I see an article that piques my interest. I just read the title, scan the passages, then hurriedly make a comment devoid of any meaning in order to help readers focus on the true subject. I not only support fellow authors but save tremendous time not reading, which I dedicate to writing even more articles to help people.

All this time, I thought reading helped other authors, provided self-improvement, and uncovered meaningfulness, but clearly, I have wasted effort. If you were like me, trying to be a good writer, you should immediately stop reading and begin commenting generously on those unread articles.

Not reading can only improve literature.

Sometimes the sheer brilliance of a critic telling us what a piece of shit our work is, helps in ways we can’t begin to fathom...

While listening to a critic recently discussing a poet and a body of that poet’s work and talking about how “important” the work is and how this poet “changed the trajectory of American poetry.” It was as if the poem and poet were easily as powerful and important as an asteroid smashing into the earth and throwing up a 200-yearlong dust cloud, Obscuring the sun and killing almost all life on the planet.

I am loathe to confess that his hyperbolic overreaction, reminds me a bit of myself. As in boy-o-boy, is that poet ever a big deal, huh? I guess we’d better really listen closely to what this critic (and I’m afraid myself from time to time) is saying.

In truth however, the critic, has never moved a single human soul so far as a Nano-millimeter by anything he has ever written. Indeed, this critic is speaking in a documentary video about this incredibly important Poet (regrettably NOT about ME), who, movie star handsome, used to ride a motorcycle around Italy, studying the wine country and writing poems that are far more important and significant than, say, the further existence of the sun (see above). That’s what this critic is saying.

So...you better listen the fuck up!

To save myself when I consider how preachy I can be here sometimes, I always fall back on “The work.” What did what you wrote, or read, make you feel? Why did you feel that? What does it tell you about yourself and what does it tell your reader about him/herself? Because in the end, we’ll all be dust and our work may or may not outlive us, but rest assured, you will NOT outlive your work . . . especially if you listen to a critic telling you how great or awful, how important or insignificant your work is, and allow that to guide you —

Just one old writer’s view (that happens to be right!)

If You Find My Writings Too Preachy

Stop reading them. There’re very few saving graces to growing old. Assuming and grasping the right to pretend (or to actually
be) wise is one of them.

And part of wisdom is saying, “No thanks.” and accepting when someone says it to me. 

Just Weighing

Photo by ThisisEngineering RAEng on Unsplash

Original photo by Arif Riyanto on Unsplash

Original Photo by Photo by S O C I A L . C U T on Unsplash

Copyright Vincent Triola & Terry Trueman

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