Critical Feelings

Pictured: Mac Pomeroy. Photo Courtesy of Mac Pomeroy

By Mac Pomeroy

As an English major, I often find myself writing for hours at a time. Stories, essays, articles — I have gotten used to the feeling of my fingers hitting the keyboard, the keys clacking as they put down my thoughts. This is not the difficult part — writing itself comes easy. However, what comes next is not quite so simple.

Once I finish my draft, it comes time to read over the document and make any needed edits. This is the difficult part.

Even if these words are my own, there is something about reading your own writing. It feels like hearing your voice over a recording; suddenly what made perfect sense a moment ago has been reduced to gibberish. You will never enjoy your own work as much as someone else will.

Frequently, even when we put every bit of effort we can into something, we don’t see the true results of our work. You could spend a month working on a project, get it near perfect, but it may end up looking a lot worse when you back up and see what you did.

Often when I finish an article, I look it over again and feel some level of regret. I catch every mistake I made and wonder if I am any good at writing. My fears and anxieties catch up with me, and it seems as though the piece I was so proud of before, is now nothing but garbage.

It doesn’t have to be an article — it doesn’t even have to be writing. It could be a painting you were really happy with while you were creating it, but now feel bitter toward. It could be an outfit you thought looked fire, but once you left the house, you felt more insecure. It could be anything you put thought and care into.

During these times when I am stuck questioning my writing, I find it beneficial to have the opinion of others. With my articles, I have the editors. Not a single ‘that’ passes through without Laurel texting me. I genuinely appreciate her doing that.

With my non-work related writing, I have a group of trusted friends who I know will be honest with me. They won’t hide their opinions or sugar coat things, they will be blunt if needed.

And if this doesn’t work, there is always my mother, Kathy. She does not hold back, which I value.

If you find yourself unable to trust your own opinion, then find people who you can trust. You don’t have to do your work alone. We are often our own worst critics and devalue our work, so we need to trust in our ability and not be afraid to express ourselves.