Constructive Criticism will Destroy Me

Talk me off the edge

There’s this thing that I created. It’s raw, rough, and undeniably me. It was hard to write and even harder to read, but I survived. Then I shared the work with my writing group and I was absolutely destroyed.

My life has been anything but pretty. I am a recovering drug addict who has lied, cheated, and manipulated friends, family, and occasionally the dead to get my way. I didn’t want it to be that way, but I was alone and afraid and unable to find relief. But, now that I’m approaching 9 years of sobriety, I believe my experience might benefit those who struggle with addiction or those who struggle with those struggling with addiction.

So, I started to write and found my way over to Medium. My vision was modest, to change the world forever, but my words lacked depth and, honestly, coherence. But, being the good self-helper that I have learned to be, I sought guidance. My work improved and I stumbled into some confidence and decided that it was time for me to move forward towards my mission. What came out was dark and hard and visceral. It was beautiful and ugly and everything I needed, and then I was ripped to shreds.

To write is to turn your soul out like pockets and expose everything that you were, are, and aspire to be. To write well is to show others your liabilities and allow them to help you turn them into assets. This is the this and it is completely terrifying.

Their words weren’t hurtful or malicious, not intentionally, at least. But, in my fragile state even line edits cut to the quick. But, after some crying and cussing and more crying, I reassessed the piece and they were right. I made some changes and my work is now stronger and a representation of my experience.

In order to grow as a creative, I must endeavor to be human. I must hold myself over the edge of emotional instability and then let my peers gently guide me away towards a better place. I need to look destruction in the face and then move beyond the limits of my existence.

This is the this and that is amazing.

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