- Upstart Daughter: Hi Dad. Just read your most recent posts! After reading today's post I am wondering, who is Elizabeth Strout? Where does she teach? What kind of workshop did you take and what did you learn from her? What's the book about?
- Know-It-All Father: It's a bloody blog, not a freakin' feature article!!!! If you want answers to those questions, Google her, buy the book, and figure it out yourself. Sincerely yours, The Cranky Blogger
- Upstart Daughter: Dear Cranky: Please consider writing your next post on how to, after a billion years as a writer, develop the ability to absorb politely worded observations regarding your work.
When you're right, you're right. In recognition of my daughter's, er... rightness... I will now offer a five-step approach to reacting to criticism of one's writing.
- Read or listen carefully. Do not speak, except to say, "Interesting. What else?"
- Be open to the possibility that maybe, just maybe, the person offering the critique has your best interests at heart. Similarly, assume that the person, as a reader, has the right to express his or her opinions on what they like, or don't like, about a particular piece of writing.
- Thank the person for taking time to not only read your writing, but also to offer comments and suggestions.
- Revise, if appropriate.
- Be grateful that there are people out there who care enough about writing--and you--to offer their observations (politely worded or not).