How to get constructive criticism of your writing

Writers crave feedback on their work; or they should, anyway. Here are guidelines for soliciting—and graciously accepting—feedback from knowledgeable sources.

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Confidence is attractive—and for a writer, it’s an advantage.

When you can see the best qualities of your work—when you have confidence in your strengths—you’re likely to keep writing. More writing means more practice; more practice means more strength; more strength means more impact.

Can you identify the good (and the bad) in your writing, though? It’s not easy being your own reviewer—nor is it always a good idea. Having other people read and respond to your drafts is valuable, even for world-class editors. I’ve said it before: “Feedback is a gift—a chance to make a better message, give a better impression, get a better result.”

Inviting feedback is a skill.

Nervous? It can be intimidating to pass your work to someone, knowing it may come back littered with revision marks; but just think of the difference those revisions could make. If your reviewer can reflect on your writing the way your ultimate audience will, wouldn’t you like that input now, rather than after you publish?

If approaching a potential reviewer makes your throat tighten or your palms sweat, you can bolster your confidence by learning how to ask for help.

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