Judged And Found Wanting

by Randy Murray on January 9, 2012

Writing is a difficult business. The hardest part is to write in the first place. The next hardest thing is to open yourself to criticism.

You do not, as many will tell you, need to grow a thick skin. What you need to do is open yourself to the possibility that you could do better.

A few months ago, just after Steve Jobs passed, I told Penny, my editor, the story of how he suddenly appeared in my booth at Macworld one year and how I had avoided talking with him. I told her how I admired the man, but I didn’t need to personally know him. I also said that I was somewhat afraid that he’d turn his keen intelligence on me, shake his head, and dismiss me.

“Ah,” Penny said, “You were afraid of being judged and found wanting.”

Yes, I was.

But as a writer, I embrace criticism. I know that I am wanting. I know that I can do better.

And I know that I’m improving. Over these last three years of intensive writing I’m becoming a much better writer.

I had one professor in college who, while shaking his head over some assignment of mine, told me that I’d never amount to anything. He was wrong about that. Although that was something a teacher should never say to a student, I realized at the time that no one could ever criticize me more. I swore that I would do better, if for nothing else than to spite him.

You have been judged and found wanting. So do better.

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The Judged And Found Wanting by Randy Murray, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

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