Writing - Is Criticism a Good Thing?

It is important to improve in everything you do. In writing it’s paramount. Any writer who wants to become a great writer would be wise to seek feedback in the form of critique.

Ask for constructive criticism.

Not all criticism will be valid but most will be helpful. Some people like to critique others writing more as a way to massage their own egos or be heard and not so much to be helpful. You need to consider the critique you receive with objective perspective.

The writer needs to decide which advice is constructive criticism and which advice is destructive. Constructive criticism helps improve your writing. Destructive criticism destroys your confidence and undermines what you are trying to achieve. You should consider the critique; select what you believe is relevant and try to improve your technique from the advice the person has given you. From a critique you can analyze what worked and what didn’t. In most cases people want to be helpful and give you their honest advice. As a golfer learns from a coach, you take as much information as you possibly can in the early stages and over time you practice and eventually perfect your own style.

Remember the feedback you receive may come from a reader and not someone who is experienced in writing. They are giving you their opinion from their understanding of what you were trying to say. They will give you their thoughts about your work in the best way they know. It may not be sensitive to your feelings so be sure you understand what the reader is really trying to share with you before becoming upset or making any changes.

Also, be wary when asking family or friends to comment on your work. They are more likely to be highly flattering or highly critical of your work depending on their expectations and relationship with you.

Always be grateful for any feedback you receive - good or bad.

Lastly, remember the decision to change your writing is yours. If you don’t like the way someone has suggested you change your writing for whatever reason, you are the final adjudicator. It is your work and your decision to do what you choose. Remember though, if you want to be published you are working for someone else and they may dictate what they want because they are paying. The choice is ultimately yours.

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