When Critiquing Another Author's WorkLet me be mindful that this piece I hold in my hand symbolizes a fellow writer's hard labor, hopes, tears, dreams, aspirations, and trust.
Let me not forget for a moment that her ambitions are no less fierce, full of promise, or all-consuming than my own, that her faith in me is precious, regardless of where she's been or where's she's going.
Let me always remember that nothing I have to say about this piece or the fellow writer who wrote it is as important as the inspiration she felt to set these words down.
Let me show in my words and actions the single, simple truth--that no opinion or critique I can give, no granite-hewn, all-powerful words of wisdom I think I possess, are one-tenth as important as preserving her spark of inspiration.
However harsh her words may seem to my ears, however unfamiliar the images she paints to my uninitiated eyes, however the fruit of her creativity may try me, dare me, or challenge me to see the world through her eyes--her spark of inspiration must not go out.
Because one of these long, weary nights, after hours of struggling to put my own words down, after my muse has deserted me, the stresses of life have defeated me, and my own fire has fizzled out to a cold pile of ash, I'll go in search of her, and I'll hope and pray that I find her fire still burning bright enough to light my own again.
Happy New Year to each and every one of you. May 2013 be your most amazing year ever!