On my 19th birthday, my mom wrote me this.
I really appreciate your sending me the copies of your poems; I know that took some courage. I enjoyed them, as poems. As a mother, of course, I have to wonder about contentm but I work at not doing that. Parents are never the ones to ask if your work is any good, especially if they don’t know much about the art form you’re working in. What’s good in writing to me is the unique turn of phrase that also gives one that Aha! sense–the feeling of, “Of course, it’s just like that.” You do both. You have the knack of eliciting the visual response and feeling without belaboring the point with an unnecessary description.
Not that you’ll ever be satisfied with what you write, but you have to be your own best, and worstm critic. You’ll look back on what you wrote in college an be embarrassed by some things and pleased with others, if you’re honest with yourself.
What really discourages me in the creative fields, esp. art, is the judgment of the fashionable. “They” say it’s great, it’s art, or it stinks, but the real judgment going on is “it’s different”. Being different is not a criterion of quality.
I like your work altho it sometimes makes me feel uncomfortable. You have such a bald way of saying things–it’s not always pretty, but it does seem truthful. You can judge the integrity of your work.
How do you judge the integrity of your own work?