Thursday, September 15, 2011

Accepting Constructive Criticism

My mother scolded and taught in one fell swoop. In my growing-up years, she often said to me, "Just a bit of constructive criticism. You shouldn't....." With that first statement, I knew I was in for it. I'd done something either wrong or stupid again. It's a kid thing and one way we learn. We do something dumb, we're told about it, and hopefully, we learn and remember the right way.

Mom's way of teaching me was to preface her scolding with the comment about constructive criticism. It softened the blow. I knew instinctively that she wasn't really angry but trying to show me the right way to do something. Did I accept it with great joy, grateful that I was learning something? Of course not! I was a kid! But, subconsciously, it all sank in, and I did learn a lot of things without being overly resentful.

So, now I'm all grown up and then some, but I am still open to constructive criticism from my critique group and editors. I may have much the same reaction as I did long ago--Oh-oh, what did I do wrong now? Over the years, I've learned to accept criticism of my writing for one simple reason. It serves to make me a better writer.

You're probably thinking--But, it hurts my feelings! or Why are they picking on me? Those hurt feelings and thoughts of being singled out for critcism are one of the biggest hurdles to overcome, espeically for new writers. Once you get past that, you opportunity to growi into a good writer is excellent. Take the words of 'constructive criticsim' and use them to your advantage.

If there is one area of your writing that receives criticsim again and again, step back and take a serious look. Push the irritation and anger away, and work on the problem. Learning to accept what others have to say about your writing is not easy, but if you can do it, you come out the winner.

1 comment:

  1. Sometimes it is difficult to hear criticism, but we must understand it is meant to help us become better writers. Great advice, Nancy.