I just read in the national broadsheet a review of a former work colleague’s book, which was published in Singapore. And the critique was really painful.
This former colleague, who was a contributing writer, never liked my editing style (etc. etc.). With the editorial team ganging up on me, I was forced to resign. It was a Devil wears Prada moment, really.
Anyway, that was almost ten years ago. I was a neophyte then. A rookie. I was also in my 20s. After weeks of tears, I decided to stand up and brush the insults away. The experience of having been forced to resign inspired me to be an over achiever. I read a lot. I even pushed the bar higher and took my MA in communication management. I am also planning to push even further, and have a doctorate degree in communications. With my credentials, it made me more confident as a person. It lead me to better jobs compared to my former work in that crappy magazine.
However, I feel bad for her. The review of her published work made me cringe out of embarrassment. The critique said: “….Singaporeans held Filipinos in high regard in whatever field, particularly in grammar….” And added: “I was hired by the Straits Times because I was preceded by a couple of Filipino journalists who had acquitted themselves quite well. I’m afraid that the [author’s] book puts the reputation in a bit of a cloud.”
The book, which could have been a national pride, has now become a national humiliation.
If the book is full of grammatical errors (not typos), it’s going to be a harsh read for its readers. At this age, I would rather be criticized for my writing style than grammar. I believe that when you are in your 30s, you should be better in your chosen craft.
I still feel bad for her. We were never friends but nothing is too late though. My friendly advice: No one is perfect. Like what I did years ago- stand up and brush the insults away. Redeem yourself. It’s not too late to learn the basics.
* i omitted her name because i really feel bad for her.