This is a guest post by Jordan Mendys
As a budding writer or any other creative type, the word “criticism” has a certain sting to it. When most hear that word they think that it refers to a bad piece of work, and something that carries no merit.
Criticism, however, can be extremely helpful and healthy for young writers, especially if they are still growing as an artist. This, of course, is called constructive criticism, and it means what it sounds like; it helps you build and grow.
Picking out those you want criticism from, though, is important because you need people you can trust to be objective. More importantly, you need people that aren’t too forgiving or strict about your work, but someone that can see the work as it is.
It is very important to figure out who to trust with your work.
Criticism Givers Should Know Your Work
The biggest mistake you can make when looking for critique is going to someone unfamiliar with your work and your voice. If they are unfamiliar, then they might make suggestions that don’t fit into your work as a whole.
You don’t want to be forced to give up your voice, because then you lose focus on your writing. Instead, try to find someone that knows your style, then the suggestions they make will fit into your style and genre.
Ask Critiquers to Leave Strong Opinions at the Door
Another difficult type of person to work with is someone overly harsh of your work. Chances are they are hyper critical of everyone’s work, and often times only like what they produce.
As a writer and filmmaker, I have seen these people before. These are the ones that don’t want to push you into a better direction, but rather want you to make work identical to theirs. More specifically they think they can do it better than you.
Again, this is not helpful because these individuals rather you not continue the work you’re doing, but rather change the piece completely. You will never benefit from those who try to tear you down.
Don’t Choose A Critiquer Who’s Too Lenient
On the other side of the spectrum are the too lenient critiquers. Often they are family and close friends, too polite and worried about your feelings to tell you the truth.
This is just as bad as overly critical people because you can’t grow as a writer if you are told nothing is wrong.
The truth is it’s highly unlikely that your work will be perfect the first time, and even the best of us can always continue to learn and grow.
Try to stick to people that you know can be honest with you, even if it hurts a little bit. The best writers and authors didn’t get there by being babied, and you won’t either.
So when you are taking on your next writing piece, seek out individuals you trust to help you along the way.
Have workshopping sessions with trusted colleagues that can give you feedback and let you know what you’re doing right along with what you can improve on. You want to be the best you can be, and you have to put yourself out there to make it happe, but it always pays off in the end.
How do you find the right critiquers for your writing projects?
About the Author: Jordan Mendys is a filmmaker and writer from Moncure, North Carolina. He also currently blogs for Digital Satellite providers, helping people access the best in TV and Film entertainment.
Image courtesy of Kristin Nador