Tuesday, June 9, 2015

In regards to writing criticism..

Here are some of my thoughts on the matter.
For those who like to write and are leery about criticism~

Obviously lots of people will have different criticisms on your work. Some will just point out grammar mistakes, some will comment on both positive and negative things about your work, and others will completely de-gut your work until it doesn't even seem like yours anymore.

My opinion:
Yes, you should probably fix grammar mistakes (unless it's TRULY part of the artistry of the work), but also, you shouldn't take extreme criticism too hard. Just think, the more extreme the criticism, the more opinionated it is. Everyone is going to have their opinions, but it is good to know which ones will actually help your work and help you grow as a writer versus ones that will take away from the essence of your work. Obviously, you don't want the work to completely turn head over heels and become something that isn't your own. But you also don't want it to completely lose the audience.

Some tips:
1. Just breathe. It helps. It will lessen the stress criticism may create.
2. Be open. Imagine the criticisms will help you rather than hurt you, and that you will grow from this.
3. Keep a positive attitude. It may be difficult, but it will help you in the long run, and also let people know you are open and approachable.
4. Know that criticisms are opinions, and you aren't obligated to use all of them. 
5. Listen. This is important. Even if the criticism is very harsh, listening will let the person know that you are open and are willing to make some changes to your writing. It will also make them more likely to want to read it again when it's done ;)
6. If it is a written criticism, then read it, even if it's unpleasant. It might end up helping you.
7. Analyze the criticisms. If there seems to be one that's common among many critics, you should strongly consider using it.    
8. Take breaks. Taking breaks from your writing and reading/listening to criticisms about it can help you look at all of it in a new light when you come back to work on it. It can also alleviate stress.
9. You don't need to change your work exactly how the criticism says it should change. You can just use it as a boost to find your own way to change it.
10. Know that not everyone is going to like all aspects of your work. But that's okay. Stick by it because it is yours that you have chosen to share.
11. Most importantly, don't hate your writing because of criticisms. Writing is a nebulous beast that likes change. And it is yours to change as you wish.
So there. You have the power to take or leave criticisms as you will. Keep writing!
~Aberswyth out

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