Since I am (STILL!) waiting for my short story critique, I thought these ten tips from The Writer’s Circle on how to sensibly respond to feedback were appropriate. At this rate, I’ll have them memorized by the time my reviewer sends me his.
10 Tips for Taking Feedback on Your Writing (And How to Trust It, Too!)
So someone had something to say about what you wrote. Maybe that someone was an editor who you paid, maybe it was a friend who graciously read through your work, or maybe it was a reader who had a comment.
Regardless of where the feedback came from, there’s a skill to putting it into context that means assessing whether you should be taking the advice, and then making sure you’re reacting in a constructive way.
First, a few tips on establishing that the feedback is trustworthy:
10. Watch out for agents/publishers who want to edit.
This isn’t always the case, but there are times when a publisher or agent recommends themselves as a paid editor or someone to offer paid feedback, according to Writer Beware. Someone could be trying to collect a finder’s fee or referral fee so be careful there.
9. Ignore purely personal attacks.
If someone is insulting your character or generally being mean instead of constructive, then don’t waste your time on it. There are plenty of people out there who will provide thorough feedback that is actually helpful, and focusing on the negative-just-to-negative won’t get you anywhere.
8. Look for common themes.
A great tip from Helping Writers Become Authors, this is a really helpful way to find trustworthy feedback. If lots of readers, commenters, or reviewers are saying similar things or pointing out the same places for improvement, then they probably have a point. One of the toughest things about wading through feedback is separating what’s just a matter of opinion and what’s more objective, so looking for those common points can help.
If you trust that the feedback is coming from a knowledgeable source and that it’s constructive now you have to decide how to apply it:
7. Be prepared for criticism.
Especially if your work is getting its first review, it’s important to prepare for criticism. It’s not going to be perfect, and you want people to point out what doesn’t make sense, what could be worded better, what doesn’t flow. By managing your expectations, you’re saving yourself from feeling bad once you see the feedback. That criticism is essential to make your work the best it can be.
See the full article at The Writer’s Circle.