Monday, November 14, 2016

Become a Better Writer: Dealing with Criticism in 4 Steps

Writing is a process that is both intimate and solitary, receiving any feedback from other people can be extremely stressful at times.

It doesn't matter the size of the project undertaken, receiving any negative criticism can feel painful.

In the long good and bad feedback are a process all writer's need, but dealing with that criticism and becoming a better writer because of it is what I want to touch on today.

Best Place to Start is Changing Your Mindset

Don't look at negative reactions as a reflection on you, see it as an opportunity to be a better writer.

It's not easy giving back thoughtful criticism and being able articulate your thoughts in such a way as to help the writer.

Step 1: Collect Your Thoughts, When Words Sting

All natural responses are okay this includes anger, frustration and guilt.  Don't let any of those emotions guide your response.

Instead take a deep breath, collect your thoughts.  Have a walk, call family or friends, anything that can distract you in that moment.  Helping you to clear your head and give a measured response.

Step 2: Analyse Your Source

Don't take your feedback to heart because people are people at the end of the day.

The more time you spend writing the stronger your personal rudder will become, helping you to self-edit and navigate through comments good and bad.

Step 3: Identify What You're Being Told

After you've cooled down go back over your feedback and recognize what you're being told.

Are you being to clumsy with your topic? Is there a problem with your story, prose or characters?

At first glance it may look like everything is wrong, but when you start to identify the problem it may be one or two small things that need changing.

Step 4: Seek Clarification

Once you understand the feedback, send an email summarizing the changes required or talk it over on the phone.

Read More About Writing: How to Write Like a Writer Everyday, If You Feel Like it or Not, A Quick Guide to Improve Your Research Skills and Write Accurately


  1. Great advice, especially about changing your mind set and view criticism as a way to improve your work.