Content Writing 101: Tips for Taking Critique
In 1958, Ernest Hemingway did an interview with The Paris Review in which he purportedly admitted that he had rewritten the final section of “A Farewell to Arms” 39 times before he was happy with the result. If one of the world’s most talented and renowned writers had to do that much revision, what does that mean for us regular writers? For some of us, it means that we are still about 38 rewrites away from perfection.
I will be the first to admit that when I have a tight deadline, I don’t always go through multiple drafts. Still, I always write with integrity, which means that I put my heart and soul into the words on the page. Even though I know my writing is far from perfect, feedback can sting a little.
Don’t Take it Personally
If you have a hard time taking criticism, the first thing I would tell you is to cut yourself some slack. Remember that even the best content writers get critique from editors and friends. In fact, their ability to apply that critique may be what makes them the best. When editors give you suggestions, don’t let yourself get defensive. Remember that it’s not meant as an insult. It’s meant to help you take your writing to the next level.
If you don’t understand something your editor says, don’t hesitate to ask for clarification. If you honestly want to improve, take full advantage of the opportunity you have to get someone else’s perspective. You might be surprised at how willing an editor is to help you out.
If you approach criticism with humility and gratitude, you will find that you are a lot more open to improvement. Here at BKA, all of our editors are also experienced writers, which means that they know what you are going through. They undoubtedly agonize over the exact feedback they should give and the way they should give it. Mutual appreciation will enable you to build a bond of respect as you work together to become better.
Once you have a good grasp of the things you can do to improve, look for ways that you can implement those suggestions. Whether you are just trying to remember the correct spelling of “complements,” or you are giving your writing style a total overhaul, dedicated practice will make a big difference. While you still may not have time to do several drafts of your articles, learning how to take critique gracefully will help you become the kind of writer that you want to be.
What are your thoughts on receiving constructive criticism on your content writing? Please share below!