Tuesday, November 1, 2011


            Critique is imperative in the writing process.  That said, there is a right way to do it and there is a wrong way.  While I’d tend to agree that a writing workshop in English class isn’t always the most effective method of feedback (Praise, Polish, and Question is a little cutesy for my taste), there is still something about the notion of respectful comments that I find attractive.
            When I submit an article to the school newspaper, even if I’ve done a terrible job, the editors still take the time to meet with me personally and discuss any necessary revisions.  Don’t get me wrong; their comments are often harsh and pointed, yet, they have the decency to tell me what I’m doing wrong and try their best to help me fix it.
            Writing for the blog is quite different.  By posting, I am opening up my thoughts and opinions to the scrutiny of the public.  I love that pressure, in fact, I yearn for it, but what really bother me are anonymous comments.  Anonymous: without a name, without pride, without dignity.  Anonymous comments are safe.  They don’t sacrifice your self-image.  Anonymity allows anyone to take on any opinion they choose without having to worry about the repercussions.
            Here is my plea to all of our readers.  I am extremely grateful for your continued allegiance to Student Parking Only, especially since the consensus seems to be that my posts have been pretty lousy as of late.  If anyone has suggestions, queries, or ideas of any sort, I’d love to hear them.  Send in a piece and I’d be glad to post it.  In the end, no one’s going to remember that anonymous comment you wrote.  On the other hand, if you’re brave enough to put your name out there with your ideas and write a decent post, they might just remember you.


  1. stop whining
    yeah this is anonymous

  2. While those who wish to remain nameless may be cowardly, the fact is that their name shouldn't really affect you. If you really cared about suggestions and criticism, then it shouldn't matter who is giving them. Some people don't need to be remembered.... they might just be trying to give a little input. Who cares who said what? I'm not disagreeing that anonymity is "safe," but opinions are opinions either way. Just like the editors of the school newspaper, commenters can tell you what youre doing wrong. You personally shouldn't care about the identity of the commenter, if your goal is to write interesting and well-written entries.

  3. Though I agree somewhat with the above, Jake's right. If you're giving feedback you should be willing to do it face to face and openly - that's the best way to ensure that you've fully considered what you're thinking about and are willing to be totally honest and open.

    That being said, I wouldn't go so far as to call those who prefer to remain anonymous cowardly. People may choose to not include their names for a large variety of reasons, many of which are valid. The take away message here is that if you choose to not share your name while giving feedback you have a higher commitment (both to yourself and the person you're giving feedback to) to ensure that the feedback is open, honest, and that you are not saying something you wouldn't be willing to tell the person directly. Anonymity shouldn't be a shield for rudeness.

  4. While I agree that suggestions are suggestions, the specific comment I assume jake was referring to was not just a suggestion, it was an overly aggressive statement of which is fine to make, but if you're going to make a statement of this nature, you should add your name so that you can be confronted about it, as opposed to shouting out things you don't like from behind a curtain (metaphorically speaking). Also, I don't feel like logging in, but to avoid being a hypocrite i'll say this is Pat G.