Everyone's a critic but some are just critical...

by Joanna D'Angelo

We've all experienced it. Heck, it is rare indeed that a writer - or an artist of any kind doesn't experience criticism at some point.

Criticism is defined as:

But when is criticism warranted and when is it not?

For several years I was a movie critic and even though I saw films that I did not particularly care for - I always found something of value in them that was worth praising. Because to be honest - people do put effort into films whether they're bombs or not - and sometimes you may not realise it's going to bomb until it's done and out there for audiences and critics to pick over like buzzards tearing carrion apart.

As writers we can brace ourselves for bad reviews - but it's tough all the same when a critic tears you to shreds. Personally, I think it's quite simply a jaded outlook. When you review movies and books day in and day out I suppose you can become rather cynical about the work.  But I feel sorry for those people. Because being a critic - is a damn fun job. Heck, I think it's one of the best jobs in the biz you can have. You get to read books or watch movies for a living. What most of us would love to do more often (if we won the lottery - well, that and travel) and what we realistically have to set aside precious time and effort to engage in -  critics get paid to do.

Two months ago, I launched a side business - manuscript assessments and copy editing - for writers.  It was something I used to do when I worked in development for a production company a few years back. I loved editing scripts and giving feedback - I think I had a knack for it and the reason is because I respect the spirit of the work and the efforts of the artist.  As a writer myself - I know how much blood sweat and tears goes into crafting a script or a novel - and so I always keep that in mind when I wear my editing hat.

The feedback that I've had so far from the writers that I've worked with has been great. I want to see the book or script succeed just as much as the creator does  - so my role is to help that person achieve their goal. And I think that's a pretty cool thing!

I also believe that editing makes us better writers. At least it does for me. So I'm really excited about doing what I'm doing "write now" ;). In addition to my TV work and working on my own novel - I love collaborating with other creative types and being an editor - gives me an opportunity to do that.

So if you've got a manuscript collecting dust on a shelf that you'd like a fresh pair of eyes to take a look at - I'm your girl! ;) (That was a shameless plug but hey - it's my blog so I'll plug if I want to. ;)



  1. Joanna, I’ve written a novel that is collecting dust in a closet, as I’ve tried to do nothing with it. Now I’m working on a memoir of sorts. When I wind up the current manuscript, I’ll ask you to write a blurb:) You’re the first one to whom I’ll come running, for I appreciate your gracious spirit.

    Some of my blog posts are excerpts from the memoir. I hope you’ll swing by my place and visit. How delighted I am to have discovered yours, and your writing gift!

  2. Joanna, we were destined to meet and connect in this lifetime. I am a wannabe writer but haven't written a book yet, my blog is my diary of sorts, more like a collection of incidents that have shaped me and made me what I am today.
    Drop in and read my mind at http://sulekkha.blogspot.com

  3. thank you Debra! ;) I will definitely stop by your blog. good to connect with you!


  4. Hi Sulekkha - glad to have connected with you too! I think this is the wonderful part of the online world - no matter where we live or what we're doing in our lives we can make connections right here!


  5. Hi Joanna, I enjoyed reading your comments and benefiting from your insight. You are correct, as a writer I should be prepared for the worst comments, but always working for the best.

  6. Draevnn - i agree - but i think also take what people say with a grain of salt - unless it is a proper critique - reviews on blogs and on Amazon are someone's opinion - and do not necessarily reflect what other readers might think.

    Cheers and thanks for your comment!


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