Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Crave Criticism

I want you to completely change your attitude about criticism. Instead of shrinking from it, I want you to embrace it. Seek it out.

1) Criticism makes you stronger, as a writer and as a person.
2) It forces you to be less insular with your writing. When you seek out criticism you are by definition putting your work "out there."
3) The process of failing and making mistakes with your writing provides you with significant learning opportunities. You'll improve your craft.
4) The more criticism you receive, the better you'll be able to distinguish between useful and useless criticism. The distinction is less obvious than you'd think.

Finally, criticism teaches you, eventually, that your writing is not you. Therefore, criticism of your writing is not criticism of you as a person. Writers who deeply realize this take criticism a lot less personally, and they suffer less.