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#WritingWednesday: Taking Constructive Criticism

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Sometimes one of the hardest things about writing (other than, you know, the actual writing) is sharing your work with someone with the intent of getting their honest opinion or having them edit the work.

So, a big tip: learn to take constructive criticism. We can’t expect every word we put to page to be a masterpiece, and that’s why firsts drafts exist anyway. If everyone wrote the best damn thing of their life on the first try then a lot of editors would be out of a job.

Obviously, make sure you know the difference between constructive criticism and just plain criticism, and don’t let anyone berate your work for the sake of being cruel because your work has value no matter what anyone says. But if you are seeking feedback, be prepared to take a blow or two.

Constructive criticism doesn’t mean your work is bad. It means you’re too close to your own work to see its faults and what it would take to make it stronger. And the whole point of writing is to create a strong and well-connected piece of work isn’t it? So, embrace the criticism, really take it in, and ruminate on it. It doesn’t mean you have to take every little suggestion, and maybe you’ll decide some parts you like how they are and damn what anyone says. That’s your choice, but the right people just want to help you hone your craft and that’s worth internalizing.

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