Looking at the Positives: Negative Feedback Isn’t All There Is

Ah, critiques. Don’t you love them? Exposing your book baby to someone else and watching them tear it apart piece by piece…

Well, hopefully your critiques aren’t actually like that (and if they are, come talk to me so I can give you a more constructive critique). But they are scary! It’s hard to separate ourselves from our work, so when someone criticises something we’ve written, it feels like they’re criticising us. Someone who doesn’t know how to critique well can make this situation even worse. That’s why it’s important to find someone who can give you their honest opinion but say it in a way that’s actually constructive.

But one little-known fact about critiquing is that it all doesn’t have to be negative. In fact, you can ask for positive feedback! Ask your critic to give you details on things you did well and things you can improve on. This isn’t just to boost your self-esteem amid the negative feedback (although sometimes, we do need that).

Just as negative feedback shows you what to improve, positive feedback helps to strengthen the things you already have nailed down. Getting both positive and negative feedback together gives you a perfect picture of what you need to spend more time on during the editing process and what probably doesn’t need as much attention. Hooray for efficiency!

Plus, as we writers doubt ourselves so much, it’s just nice to get that affirmation every once in a while. So, don’t be afraid to ask for positive feedback. If you don’t know what you do well, how can you keep doing it well? And the next time you give feedback to someone else, make sure to include some positives with the negatives. It does help!

Happy writing!

If you enjoyed this post, I hope you’ll consider donating to the blog, reading my stories on Vocal, and/or taking a look at my RedBubble shop so I can continue to produce free content!

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Photo by Zalfa Imani on Unsplash

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When you write as much as I do, you have to take frequent breaks from sitting. A standing desk (not a whole desk, but a mini desk that will sit on top of my current desk with my laptop, keyboard, and mouse and extend upward) will allow me to continue working while maintaining that good blood flow to my brain. Thank you so much for your support that allows me to keep producing free content. God bless you! ♥️ E.J.


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