How to get better at accepting feedback

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Do you need to become better at accepting feedback? This is my weekly installment of “writing about writing,” in which I scan the world to find materials to help other writers…

Some writers have a hard time accepting feedback for their work. And when I hear about the sort of feedback they’ve received, I’m not surprised.

They may have had an editor bark at them. Or perhaps a colleague made suggestions in an offhand or unhelpful way. And in both such cases, the writers probably didn’t receive “praise sandwiches” — negative comments tucked inside the “bread” of a compliment on either side.

I’ve written a post about how writers can better deal with negative comments. And, recently, I read a post by another writer containing a bevy of excellent advice for anyone receiving feedback.

The 10 tips by Zena Dell Lowe include the terrific suggestions that writers should avoid defending or justifying their choices, and that feedback is not about YOU, but about your writing.

I especially appreciated Lowe’s concluding comment:

“The bottom line is that feedback does not need to throw you for a loop. Just because someone gives you their opinion doesn’t mean you have to take their suggestions, or that their comments and insights are correct. It ONLY means that there is a reason behind why they made them — something might not be working quite right.

“But never, ever turn around and tell them why they’re wrong about this comment or that. Instead, simply try to understand what prompted them to make said comment and then try to find a way to address the underlying issue. THAT’S what notes and feedback help you identify.”


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