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Saying The Truth

| August 4, 2014

Daily Dose-green

 

It’s not an easy thing. I know this from experience.

First, let’s look at the truth objectively.

Most of the time, the truth is a personal thing. The overwhelming majority of the time, what we see as truth is actually filtered through our experiences, based on labels that we have generally agreed upon. So, most of the time, truth is subjective.

Most people don’t want to hear the subjective truth about themselves from another. Most of the time, that subjective truth doesn’t fit within that person’s view of themselves. Sometimes, a creator is the equivalent of William Hung. When they are told the truth, they don’t believe it because it doesn’t fit within their view of themselves.

Even if they aren’t as bad as William Hung, there are a lot of creators who will react negatively to criticism, real or perceived. They just want to be told how good they are, and then go on their way. To use a severely overused phrase, they can’t handle the truth.

Saying the truth is no picnic for the speaker, either. They already know what they have to say, and they have an idea of how the other person may react to hearing the truth. That can create some anxiety, because the speaker more than likely doesn’t want to hurt the other person’s feelings, but cannot let that person continue doing whatever it is they’re doing badly.

As a freelance editor and main editor at The Proving Grounds, it is my duty to tell the truth to writers who come to me for help. If they pay me for my services, then I am bound to tell them the truth and to help them tell the best story they can. If the script comes through TPG, then I am bound to tell them the truth as to what I see.

Now, because of TPG, some think I’m mean as well as a jerk. That cannot be helped. Sometimes that causes me anxiety. I’m human. Saying the truth, what needs to be said, isn’t always easy.

The next time you have something negative said about your work, I want you to not only think about the work itself and how it can be improved, but think about the person who said it, and how they had to feel in order to bring this truth to you. It may not be easy, but it may also be their job.

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Category: Columns, The Daily Dose

About the Author ()

Steven is an editor/writer with such credits as Fallen Justice, the award nominated The Standard, and Bullet Time under his belt, as well as work published by DC Comics. Between he and his wife, there are 10 kids (!), so there is a lot of creativity all around him. Steven is also the editor in chief and co-creator of ComixTribe, whose mission statement is Creators Helping Creators Make Better Comics. If you're looking for editing, contact him at stevedforbes@gmail.com for rate inquiries.

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