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Are You A Wemmick, Too?

Posted by on October 12, 2012

I’m a Wemmick!

Oh no, and I tried so hard not to be. Still, not only am I a Wemmick, but I’m a Wemmick whose box of gray dots is almost empty.

Argh!

A couple weeks ago, I told you about the story You Are Special, by Max Lucado. A story of a wooden manyou are special coveroverwrought by the covering of gray dots (or bad judgments) his fellow townspeople stuck to him. I mused about the silliness of a town filled with creatures who gave out stickers, judging people all day long.

Then, no sooner did I push the publish button, sending the post to the website, I began to read a novel in my Kindle and found myself sitting up to make notes to the author as if I were her critique partner. You see, I am in a five-person critique group and spend some time on a regular basis critiquing fiction author’s manuscripts. So when I had a question about a statement in the novel that appeared inconsistent, my instinct was to make a note.

Somebody, please tell me you do this too :o/.

Thank goodness I caught myself in the nick of time, saving my Kindle from destruction and my flesh from turning to wood—A sort of backwards Pinnochio effect.

Yet still, it hit me. I am a Wemmick at heart. I have gold stars and gray dots in my pockets and I’m itching to use them. If you’ve read the book, you know how purposeful that exercise is.

full length mirrorMax Lucadotells us how to get rid of the ones stuck to us. Now, I wonder how we get rid of the ones we carry. Maybe it has something to do with a magic mirror that illuminates eye planks that usually go unseen. <Sigh!> I hate those mirrors! They’re worse than the ones that add ten pounds.

As an added note, remember that statement in the novel I was reading that revealed my loathsome Wemmick-ness? Well, it turns out, my question was for naught. All I had to do was read a little further to find out the statement was completely consistent with the story. I guess unless I am asked by my critique partners to comment, I should just keep those red-stained fingertips in my pockets with the gold stars and gray dots, and trust that the published novel has already been appropriately edited.

Are you a Wemmick, too?

Other posts you might like:

Whose Review Should You Let Stick?

Would Jesus Market Himself?

Judging Someone Else’s Servant

3 Responses to Are You A Wemmick, Too?

  1. Connie Almony

    This reminds me of a sermon I once heard where two men were called by their king to evaluate the kingdom. One was told to find all the problems, the other all the good things. Of course, the one told to find the problems saw the land in ruins and the other saw its greatness. Seeing the land in only one of these ways can be problematic. One causes us not to encourage what are our strengths. The other allows us to be less productive. It’s important, when applying your attitude to the moment, to consider the goal of the activity.
    When I sat in the audience to watch my daughter’s first viola concert, I was not disappointed that the efforts of her classmates and herself combined to the effect of sounding like cats in pain :o). I smiled with pride at my daughter’s posture as she held her instrument to her chin and played each note with the accuracy of a third-grader who practiced each and every night. It was beautiful!
    I have read “lesser-crafted” writing with awesome stories, poorly developed stories with inspiring characters and other mixes of good and bad. I hope I don’t come to dislike reading because I am always looking for the inferior. Just like I hope I don’t distance myself from friendships because I keep meeting only, well, sinners. And I hope I don’t come to hate myself because I am one, too.
    There is a time and place for critiquing, be it of a book or of a friend. When I can be of service to that person or their work, yes. But if it only causes me to see the world for its flaws, I hope I can “forgive” them on occasion. It’s a hard balance. One I have not mastered. But one that is a part of everything we do. Not just writing.

  2. Kate Dolan

    I am extremely critical of others’ writing. And I’m critical of stage productions from my time in high school and college theatre. That was half a lifetime ago! I think its the ego that comes with experience – we see mistakes we’ve made reflected in others’ work and feel superior. A friend pointed out years ago that she lost the ability to simply enjoy a show – she kept seeing the flaws. So how do you turn off the editor/critic? Should we? I don’t know.

  3. June Foster

    Connie, I think it’s the plight of every writer. Sometimes I can’t enjoy reading a novel because I immediately begin to edit it in my mind considering what changes I’d make if I was this author’s critique partner. It’s ingrained in us. We can’t help it. They do the same thing to our work.