Critics can be a writer's best friend

This guest post is by Barb Sawyers of Sticky Communication.

When I first started to write professionally, I hated people editing my work. To deal with these personal attacks, I would rant, cry, drink too much, and otherwise freak out.

But one day I parked my ego long enough to realize that many of these editors were highly skilled. Others knew more about the subject or the organization’s perspective than I did. I needed them.
Working in corporate communication, I was still stuck with the busy-bodies who felt they had to contribute to the tangle of edits that approvals processes create. A few were convinced they were “adding value” by inserting lame jargon or grammar mistakes.

These ego critics drove me crazy, still do. But the wise ones helped me become a better writer, still do. That’s why I seek out people with the skill and tough attitude to give me the criticism I need.

Seek out tough critics

With blogging and other content marketing, the more relaxed approach means many of us are spared the pain of the ego editors. But unless we’re writing for places with lots of editorial involvement, some of us don’t receive the guidance that would help us reach the next level.

We may ask blog buddies to review our work for typos and glaring problems. But how many of these friends are skilled, knowledgeable, and strong enough to deliver the blows to demolish what’s weak so we can replace it with something better?

Few people enjoy constructive criticism, but anyone who wants to become a better at blogging (or pretty much anything in life) has to learn how to handle the petty know-it-alls, open up to the wise ones, and grow. Many young people whose parents piled on the self-esteem building trophies have trouble with this. More...