Writing, Writing life

Throwback Post: Dealing with Critique

Today, I’m pulling out a post from the archives! The following was first published October 11, 2022.

How do you take feedback?

Let’s be honest—taking critique can be hard. Even well-meaning, honest critique can sting. So what do you do when you get your story back with red ink?

Personally, I don’t look at it right away. I’ll let myself skin it super quickly to see the damage, but I don’t really read anything. I let myself get mentally into a position to actually look at the feedback. And if there aren’t a ton of comments, I do a little happy dance that my story’s good! 😄

After about a day, I open up the document and really look at the critique. And I don’t change anything right away, unless it’s something I immediately agree with. I give myself time to think over the suggestions. Sometimes, I’ll get other opinions on a specific critique.

And then I go to work. As sad as it is, we don’t write perfect first drafts, whether it be a short story or a novel. And as the creator, we don’t see all the problems with our work. We need that outside feedback, and we need to know how to take it, sort through it, and implement it.

And you are not your writing. Your worth and identity are not in your writing. If you are a Christian, your identity is in Christ. Critique of your writing is not an attack against you.

The red ink, scary as it is, is there to help you grow as a writer and to make your book better.

P.S. If you’re looking to get practice working with editors/getting feedback on your work, I recommend submitting to Havok! The Havok editorial staff is fantastic, and they’ll critique every submission, even the ones that don’t get accepted. So go write some flash fiction!

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