Have you ever had anyone criticize your writing? Maybe they were just having a bad day. After all, some people just can’t seem to say anything nice.
Not everyone is comfortable with criticism, but there may be times when it provides just what you need to move forward in your writing.
There is a man that’s been called the “Simon Cowell of Christian Publishing”. A few quotes from Chip MacGregor might allow you to see that he’s far from being the touchy-feely type. The following quotes were part of a July 2006 interview with Chip MacGregor who is the Associate Publisher with Hachette Book Group USA. The quotes are part of a lengthy interview conducted by the staff at Novel Journey.
“The reason most wannabe authors remain unpublished is because they just aren’t willing to put in the time, to do the hard work and become better at the craft of writing. In other words, laziness will keep you from being a great writer.”Chip MacGregor
“Some people (many people) seem to be fans, and send me nice notes on occasion, like when they’ve gone off their meds or had too much to drink. Others clearly do NOT like me. Especially nice church ladies who can’t understand why I’d say that a book is bad or a writer has done a terrible job.”Chip MacGregor
“The only way I could finish the stupid thing was to tear out the pages I’d read and light them on fire, in hopes that occasionally sticking my hand into the flames would keep me awake. Mourn the trees that died so this tome could see print.”Chip MacGregor
“I’d suggest that many of the Old Testament prophets helped the culture make strides not by being nice, but being honest – even blunt. Ditto Paul. Ditto Jesus, for that matter (take a peek at his criticisms of the upstanding church leadership of His day).”Chip MacGregor
“So what’s the harm in being honest? Even brutally honest? Can’t we all admit we’ve got stuff to learn?”Chip MacGregor.
“90% of the stuff I reject is rejected for one reason: it isn’t good enough.”Chip MacGregor
MacGregor does have advice for writers that may make them cringe a bit less, “I think writer’s conferences are a great way for newbies to get educated in the process of writing. Hanging around a bunch of experienced people in your chosen field is ALWAYS an excellent idea… It’s nice to find somebody a bit further down the path.”
It is safe to say that the thrust of MacGregors ‘honesty’ is to try to challenge writers to be the absolute best they can be. This often means forcing ourselves to work harder at our craft and refusing to use a specific genre as a crutch for mediocre writing.