One of the essential skills of a serious writer is being able to share your work, receive feedback and evaluate the criticism given to you. As author Sarah Aronson says, “How another person receives the words on the page can help you improve your story. Make it deeper. More meaningful. More relevant.”
From your peers:
You’re putting yourself, and your work, out there! What can that bring?
The Good Stuff:
The Bad Stuff
Don’t let the Bad Stuff keep you from sharing your work. The questions that you’re asked may guide you toward a deeper understanding of your project. They may challenge you to find answers beyond what is currently on the page. They may direct you to add or subtract. They may leave you with more questions. Somewhere in the questions you hear, you will find some insight to help you on your journey.
Erin Dionne, leader of our upcoming workshop The Art of Giving and Receiving Critique, is an author and college professor who teaches creative writing. She says, “Every professional writer that I know, when they are sharing their work for critique, they are entering into a conversation about their book.”
When receiving critique, Erin suggests:
Remember, says Erin, “You are the final arbiter of your own work. What you have to do is listen–and you get to decide HOW to solve the problem.”
Listening to others talk about your work can be a very emotional process! Some things to do and remember:
With practice, receiving feedback will get easier, and you’ll see the benefits in your work. Below are some blog posts and articles we’ve collected that might be of interest. If you want to take a deeper dive into the process, consider this workshop:
Feedback and Affirmations, from Sarah Aronson’s Monday Motivation newsletter
Are You Being Served? A Recipe for a Great Critique Group, from editor Emma D. Dryden’s blog
The Braintrust Critique, with Nicole Valentine & Rob Costello, Episode #8 from the Highlights Foundation Into the Words podcast. The braintrust critique method is a round-table critique method that includes the author in the conversation.
Posted on: November 12, 2020