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Have you ever been in writer workshops and reacted to criticism of your writing or story by demanding the other writer defend their decision in such detail that it served your purpose of making certain they never gave you unfavorable critique again?

Hell hath no fury like a thin-skinned narcissist with a needy manuscript... But wait!

Could you be one of them? In case you're not sure if your skin qualifies, Algonkian psychologists have developed a few skin test questions below. Feel free to respond honestly to yourself as you read each one. Everyone wishes to avoid time-wasting instances of Offended Writer Syndrome (OWS) that often takes place in writer workshops all across America. Even at this very moment!

Now, time to take THE THIN SKIN TEST:
  • Has any writer ever prefaced their critique of your work by first saying to you, "Don't hate me, please?"
  • Do you sense that writers who unfavorably critique your work are "loading the gun" and taking aim?
  • Do you rush to defend your work when a reader gives you criticism rather than absorb and weigh it carefully?
  • Do you feel a need to say unkind things about a writer's work if you perceive she or he was unkind to you first?
  • Have you ever chastised any writer for what you consider to be improper or incorrect critique of your work?
  • Have you ever been in writer workshops and reacted to criticism of your writing or story by demanding the other writer defend their decision in such detail that it served your purpose of making certain they never gave you unfavorable critique again?
  • Do you receive critique you oppose in good humor, but routinely seek the negation of it from those you know will agree with your version of reality?
  • Do you feel a bout of OWS coming on after reading the above questions?
 If you answered yes to three or more of the above questions, writer workshops are definitely not for you. Please discontinue attending such events. They won't help you and you can't help but make them less productive for everyone else.

You might even make *yourself* miserable.
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Michael Neff
Algonkian Producer
New York Pitch Director
Author, Development Exec, Editor

We are the makers of novels, and we are the dreamers of dreams.

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Being in the room with narcissists is an experience that can actually be frightening. They always alienate most of the workshop, if not all of it.

Michael Neff
Algonkian Producer
New York Pitch Director
Author, Development Exec, Editor

We are the makers of novels, and we are the dreamers of dreams.

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