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My First Crumb of Constructive Criticism

 Written by    September 28, 2012

How’s THAT for alliteration?

As you might know, I am a Film Studies major, minoring in Professional Writing and also in Business. (The goal is to work in the film industry, possibly screenwriting on the side.)

There is an internship for my professional writing minor offered¬†through Ohio State that could connect me to many different companies. My minor coordinator, Trish Houston, looks at my resume and writing portfolio and then, once it’s “perfect” and I don’t completely flunk my interview, she sends it out to my top three choice companies that work with Ohio State.

I just had that internship interview Рmy very first Рearlier this week; and I am a glass case of emotion. Which is what I assume most people feel like when they receive criticism, constructive or not. Before that interview, I was nervous, stressed, and panicky. I knew that a lot was riding on this and as well as on the pieces of writing I put in this manilla envelope and gave to Trish.

During the interview, Trish sat me down and showed me that she had picked through my writing with a red pen.

Red pen = writers’ worst nightmare.

We spent some time going through my grammatical errors and disagreement within the content. At first, I was mortified. I repeated a mantra in my mind the whole time, thinking “I’m a terrible writer; I can’t do this. I’m a terrible writer; I can’t do this.”

I did have ONE perfect piece though. And it was actually a blog that I wrote for you guys! So kudos … sort of.

Anyhow, the criticism I received was rough, especially while in the moment. Every red mark was a cut on my writing dream. But afterwards, I loved it. I wish I had asked for it before. It was exceptionally helpful, useful, and enlightening. I remember I made a huge mistake of verb disagreement and thought, “I didn’t even think to look for that while editing.”

Included in my glass case is now relief, gratification, and pure happiness.

Now I just have to turn in my portfolio corrections and wait for the results.

Re-enter fear … again.

How does criticism make you feel?



Advice, Campus Life, On-campus work, Stress, The Future

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