Many of us who have been writing for a number of years understand the potential pain of someone critiquing our work. But as writers, we also know we have to develop a thick skin. Our work will always be under the radar.

Mark Twain said: “Tomorrow night I appear for the first time before a Boston audience – 4,000 critics.”

Yes, everyone has something to say, whether or not you’ve asked for their opinion.


Critique vs. Criticism

First, understand critique and criticism are two different thoughts and actions. A critique can be given by a trusted colleague or friend, one who has your best interests in mind and sees potential. That colleague, or someone you trust and admire, can approach the critique with experience and education, or a unique perspective.

Criticism is negative and cares not for the feelings of the recipient. And often it comes from someone who is expressing thoughts from a matter of personal taste, rather than knowledge.

Look for what you need for your writing in both. Critique will often be more helpful to your growth; with criticism, take what you think is helpful, and ignore the rest.

If you allow criticism to rule your writing, it will paralyze you. Keep going because you only learn by doing. And, your skin grows thicker.


Critique for Professional Growth

Your goal is to become a better writer. If you work as a copywriter with clients, get used to critique, criticism, and compromise, because that’s how copywriting works. Not only do you need to develop a toughened skin, but throwing a tantrum (or online public rage) because your client or publisher doesn’t agree with what you’ve written, only taints your professionalism. And client prospects.

If you find you are sensitive to comments you receive from others on your writing, then maybe writing is not an ideal career choice for you.

I’ve had clients that challenged me over words and phrases, causing me to doubt myself, then I double-check my sources. Or they’ve had better ideas that I would take and form into succinct copy.

Yes, sometimes other people have better ideas than us. Our job is to make those ideas sing on the page.

Both critique and criticism can help in your writing growth. The next time someone you trust offers a critique, try the suggestion, and see what happens.

Want to improve your writing either in your business or as an author? My 2-Day VIP Writing Workshop is designed to help you write effectively and get a boost to start a writing project and/or compel you forward to finish your writing projects. Get more information here and let’s schedule a call!