How to Benefit from Edits & Critiques to Grow as a Writer

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Sharon Rose Gibson is an author, editor, and writing coach. To me, Sharon is also a mentor and a friend. She gave me a copy of “How to Benefit from Edits and Critiques to Grow as a Writer” as she helped me uncover my own strengths. I love it because it perfectly captures my heart both as a well-meaning editor giving feedback, and as a vulnerable author accepting critique. No matter which side of the pen you’re on today, hope this inspires and comforts you.

Sharon, thank you for helping me make my writing dreams come true.

You may cringe when you receive your work back, and it is covered in red ink or corrections. I did when I first started submitting for critique. Relax. Many people feel this way.

Though you may experience some anxiety or angst at first, you will grow to appreciate the critiques as you see an improvement in your writing. Writers who want to grow in their writing skills welcome criticism. 

  1. Critiques are not personal. Editors, teachers, or a critique group critique your work, not you. Their criticism is not of you as a person and has nothing to do with your value and worth. This perspective will help you not to take it personally. For example: When you played sports, your coach may have criticized the way you handled the ball. That did not have anything to do with your value as a person. Do your best to separate your value and worth from your work. This will help you be more objective when you receive critiques.
  2. Adopt a growth mindset. I can’t emphasize this enough. Always be striving to go to the next level in your writing. Don’t be discouraged if you receive a great deal of correction, especially in the beginning. View it as an opportunity to learn. This mindset will help you grow in your skills as a writer.
  3. Be true to your voice. Think about your goals, your voice, and the way you say things. I don’t want to encourage you to violate good writing principles simply because you like to say things a certain way. You need to know and follow the rules of good writing. Within those guidelines, be true to yourself and your voice.
  4. Don’t ignore critiques. On the other hand, don’t ignore suggestions or critiques. Consider them carefully. If you are not sure, look at good writing principles. You can also ask for a second opinion from another writer or someone whose judgment you trust. If someone has had a lot of experience studying the craft of writing, then defer to their judgment. 
  5. Save your original. Keep a copy of your original before you make any changes that others suggest. This way, if you change your mind, you still have what you originally wrote. You can date the drafts so if you wrote something, you can go back later and retrieve it. You don’t want to save every draft because that can get confusing, but at least save the first one and any other ones where you made significant changes.

copyright 2008 Sharon Gibson All rights reserved

Sharon Rose Gibson

Sharon Rose Gibson will equip, empower and encourage you to enjoy the Gift of Writing, to move “From Stuck to Success and show you “How to Write Your Story NOW.” You can find all her books and journals at

She has been published in bestselling books such as the Chicken Soup series. Her missionary parents raised her in Africa, and she has adopted seven teenagers from poverty backgrounds. She also loves to do creative lettering and watercolor.

Creator of “How to Write for Fun and Profit”

Author of the books:
“How to Write Your Story NOW ~ Writing Skills to Captivate Your Reader”
“From Stuck to Success: Conquer Your Fears and Achieve Your Writing Dreams”
“The Gift of Writing:10 Ways to Share Your Heart.Nurture Your Relationships and Leave a Legacy

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