Criticism is not a bad word. When it comes to our writing we need editors and critics to help hone our craft. I have three awesome editors and critics in my husband Charles, my girl friend Gayle and my daughter Pam. Each having their own insights to help improve my words. My fellow writer Kim interacts with me via the internet from her home in Montana. She adds fresh eyes and shows me things I have overlooked. Next to a professional critique services having these individuals input is priceless.
Others reading my work helps catch those mistakes that I don’t catch because I have read it a hundred times and don’t realize for example I typed the word then instead of than or there instead of their. My husband the grammarian catches those common mistakes that evade my eyes. Gayle catches the ones my hubby may have missed after reading draft after draft. My daughter asked those deep questions like:“Mom, what does this paragraph have to do with the rest of the story?” or “This paragraph sounds like it is your conclusion. While Kim catches POV (point of view) problems, clichés and odd dialogue. These people are necessary to make my writing the best it can be.
Critical imput is not for wimps
If you are not willing for others to critique your work then maybe writing is not your calling. Scripture tells us that iron sharpens iron. My critics sharpen my work as well as help me to develop a tough skin regarding my writing. Fear of the red pen only cripples a writer’s growth. If you put that baby you created out there for others to red pen you might be surprised how much better it will become.
Choose your red pen partners carefully
Be careful who you give that red pen to though. You want to find a balance between Negative Nancys and Pleasant Pollys. Either extreme can be disasterous. Those with only negative comments leave you feeling deflated while those who love every word you pen just as it is will do you a disservice when you submit that Pulitzer to a publisher and it is rejected.
Ask God to show you who to critique your work. All the input from critiques is not necessarily gospel for you to follow verbatim. Grammar and punctuation should be changed. Other ideas and suggestions are just that. You are the author you decide what the final draft will look like.
Find a writer’s group
Getting involved in a writer’s group in your area or online will not only improve your writing but give you a network for future publication leads.