In sports, such as the Olympics, results are often ascertained objectively by a quantitative measurement, such as time, distance, or score.
Other competitions are determined in a more subjective manner based on the qualitative opinions of judges. To help screen out possible bias or bad judgment, multiple judges are used, with the highest and lowest scores (that is, opinions) being disregarded. The result is a more balanced and centrist evaluation.
I think that we need to apply this to our writing as well.
Some people — often family members, close friends, or those with a vested interest — will say that whatever we write is golden. They will only speak of the positives and when positives are lacking, they will spin innocuous platitudes. In short, their high score cannot be trusted and should be disregarded.
Conversely, there are those who tear your work to shreds — perhaps a word-wielding reviewer, an insecure colleague, or a self-righteous critic. Their painful bards are not helpful and often, destructive. Their low score should likewise be dismissed as extreme and untrustworthy.
With the high and low scores wisely jettisoned, the remaining scores — that is, opinions — represent a more balanced and centrist evaluation. They can be safely considered as a viable and realistic evaluation of your work.
Olympic scoring works well in both sports and in writing.
Peter DeHaan is an author, publisher, and editor. He gives back to the writing community through this blog. Get insider info from his monthly newsletter. Sign up today!