Just Shut Up

What do you do when you get notes on a piece of writing for which you do not agree?

Here’s the short answer:

Say thank you and move forward.

And here’s the long answer:

After your immediate “They don’t know what the hell they’re talking about” reaction to notes, you still say thank you. We all have that reaction. After all, we’re the ones who’ve spent hours, days, months, even years bleeding over a piece. How dare some NUG (new ugly guy or gal) come in and suggest we change anything! We’re the creatives! The artists! The literary geniuses! They shuffle papers and drop names during martini lunches. But trust me, bite that tongue and smile. You might even go so far as to say you found their thoughts and notes helpful.

Taking notes is more than just working out a piece of writing. It’s about building relationships. Despite how big we think the film and television industry is, it is really a small community where everyone is six degrees separated. Just look at your LinkedIn network. Everyone knows someone that knows someone. Build those relationships, people! You never know when you’ll cross paths with that knucklehead who gave you bad notes. It’ll be sooner than you think.

Then after a few days or weeks, go back and read those notes again. After you made the changes suggested, you’ll thank your lucky stars for not knee-jerking yourself in the no-nos because your feelings were hurt.

Write on!

2 thoughts on “Just Shut Up

  1. I’m lucky to have worked with a particularly harsh editor so I can now take criticism for my work without flinching, but yeah, there’s really no reason to act any other way than what you’d just mentioned. Thanks for this post!

    • Thanks, Stuart. Yes, notes can be brutal, sometimes senseless, even discouraging. But everyone wants to succeed here, and often we’re too close to a piece of writing, we’re unable to see some giant holes that need filling. Write on!

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