guest · revising · Writing

Guest Blogger: Klemc On Bob and Spamy

Good news! I get my stitches out today! No more pain!

Anyway, Klemc (pronounced klem c) is an amazing friend of mine. We’ve been buddies for seven years now, and I love her to death. She’s a fantastic artist, a great writer, and I’m honored that agreed to guest blog for me today. One day she will be famous and I will be riding on the coattails of her fame reminding of her all the video games we’ve played and the ice cream we ate. So yeah! Without further ado, here is Klemc!


Many times after practicing flute, I’ll leave a session feeling like I haven’t improved and that everything I’ve done is wrong. When I tell this to my mother in the other room, she shakes her head, tells me I sounded great and remarks, “You’re your worst critique” – a phrase I fully agree with. But, I think it goes a bit further than that.

Being critical of yourself isn’t entirely a bad thing. Having a developed sense of taste and knowing when something that you do isn’t at the level you want to achieve can act as a compass for you, letting you know when you’re heading in the right direction and when you’re not. However, there is being the “Helpful Critic” (let’s call him Bob, a nice, welcoming name) and then – and I’m sure all of us have run into this type on the internet at least a dozen times – there’s the “Unhelpful Flame/Spam/Ranter ‘Critic,’” (who we can call Spamy, an annoying name to fit them). Bob will sometimes be harsh, but it is for the benefit of each writer they critique and they will offer some advice for the writer on how to improve. Spamy is not as kind as Bob. He doesn’t offer helpful critiques and just seems to rant about your story about everything that is even remotely ‘wrong’ or ‘dumb’ or just plain ‘stupid.’ Instead of presenting ways to improve, Spamy seems to only want you to ‘never write again’ (optional ‘omg’ and questionable grammar included).

So, we know about the Bobs and the Spamy as they appear in other critics, online and in real life, but what about in you? Are you a Bob or a Spamy to your own work? I know that I for one can be a real nasty Spamy, nearly crippling any desire to write anything with the constant berating of ‘That sounds stupid,’ or, ‘No one will get that.’ ‘Stupid’ is a word I sometimes think when I write and if I don’t silence it, I will go on writing the same sentence, over thinking every part of it, or stop writing altogether.

As I began with music, I’ll connect back to that for a moment. While I can be a Spamy more times then I would like, there are times when I am a Bob. Those are the times that I enjoy the most, because Bob encourages the creative spirit and sees merit in trying something new, which, could turn out to be one of the best ideas you’ve ever had. What would it sound like if I beatboxed on my flute instead? Spamy would say not to do it, because it sounds ridiculous. Bob says, ‘Hell, why not?’ Even if it doesn’t turn out how you want it to, you’ve at least tried and learned why it didn’t work. But, being Spamy (no, I’m not letting go of that) all the time is crippling, because Spamy doesn’t want to try something new, so self-concious that it’ll come off as ‘stupid’ or ‘silly’ and preventing you from writing what you want, which is a key to unlocking your unique form of art.

So, don’t be a Spamy. Be a Bob.

P. S. If you need further convincing, Bob lets you write blog posts for friends about Bob and Spamy, causing the dear author of this blog to further question her guest writer’s sanity.

And…loving it.

How I picture Bob
How I picture Bob

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