Other people’s words

A friend asked me if I’d read a half hour play she has written.  ‘Don’t miss me and hit the wall, if you wish to criticise it. I trust you!’  she said.  It proved to be a gripping read so it wasn’t a problem to offer a few suggestions when I could honestly say I liked it.  She’s taken the comments on board and agreed with most of them.  Often we are too close to a text to spot awkward phrases or ambiguities, so it’s great to have trusted peers to run stuff past.  I appreciate the folk who do the same service for me.    

It makes it easier too if you know that the other person is committed to excellence – in fact it’s essential.  The friend in question is a visual artist, so well used to the joys and trials of the creative process.  I think that’s part of what makes it possible to critique other people’s words and work – knowing that there’s a shared value about the nature of the endeavour.

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