by Amy Spahn
As an editor, it’s my job to give constructive criticism. It’s what I get paid to do. Along the way, I try to offer some praise for the elements of a story that work, but most of my feedback does not involve writing a sonnet extolling the virtues of a manuscript I’ve been hired to edit. So if an author gets upset after an edit, I wonder what part of this process they didn’t understand. I’m polite, I say please a lot, and try to give reasons for a change or suggested rewrite. I think every editor and even a few authors have experienced the same thing: a request for honest feedback that results in someone being offended by the constructive criticism.
When I came across Amy Spahn’s article “10 Signs You’re Ignoring Constructive Criticism of Your Writing,” I was pleased to see that not only was she spot on, but she was an author. I recognized that sometimes it helps to have another author who has been through the process, traversed the quagmire of publishing, and slogged through the trenches offer advice on dealing with a touchy subject. It doesn’t hurt that she’s funny and keeps the article lighthearted.
“Writing is easy. Writing well is stupid hard. You have to work at it to create something truly marvelous. And a lot of that work involves listening to things you don’t want to hear and learning from them.” ~Amy Spahn
So if you’re an author struggling with revisions or simply want to read a great article, check out Spahn’s article on her website Amy Spahn’s Writing.
Now… go write something!