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The Art of Constructive Criticism

Updated on May 31, 2016
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I stand before a sea of pre-teen eyes; they are slightly narrowed, as if suspicious as to whether or not I have anything genuinely useful to say. “I will let you in on a little secret,” I say with a mischievous twinkle in my eye: “Ninety percent of what you write is awful—not worth reading.”

Their eyes become wide and their mouths open slightly as if questioning whether or not they had heard me correctly. “That’s right,” I repeat. “Ninety percent of what you write is a complete train wreck.”

I am surrounded by looks that say, “Who hired you to teach here, you horrible, horrible man?”

“Now,” I continue, “before you go getting all offended, you should know that ninety percent of what I write is also worthless. In fact, Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, and Gary Paulsen—all of them—ninety percent worthless.”

The looks of anger are now replaced by the knitted brows of confusion. “Good news, though,” I smile. “Ten percent of what you write is marvelous. The work of writing is to find the gold, remove the chaff, and refine, refine, refine until your writing glitters with every word. This is what we learn to do here. And this is where we learn to help one another to achieve this.”

The Evil Eye
The Evil Eye | Source

This discussion comes early in every writing class I teach. And only now, after years spent trying to help students understand this concept, have I come to realize the vital importance of learning to write effective criticism.

In this discussion, I will summarize what I have learned as both a teacher and a writer about giving feedback to other writers that provides genuinely useful details for supporting both immediate revision and long-term writing growth.

Main Concepts:

  • Leggo My Ego (Being honest and keeping it professional)
  • Take Me Trippin’ in Your Head (Revealing the writing as you experience it)
  • Do You Feel Me? (Using precise language)

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Leggo My Ego

“This piece rocks! You are the best writer that ever set pen to paper.”

Now who wouldn't love to hear this about his or her writing? Every writer craves praise from his or her readers and fears criticism. After all, writing is very personal; sharing it is a universally courageous act. Thankfully, most readers respect this and keep it in mind as they provide feedback. Unfortunately, it often causes them to become timid and afraid of offending the writer—as if to suggest that a piece is not perfect somehow translates into a personal insult.

Writers know their work is imperfect. Good writers know they can’t see all the problems, so they need good readers to help them find the gaps. A good reader must be prepared to point out these gaps without fear of offending the writer.

How do you achieve this? Try this:

  • Don't talk about what you “like” or “don’t like”: As soon as you use these words, my ego will jump in no matter how much I might try to fight it. I begin thinking about how great a writer I am, or how horrible a writer I am, or how you don’t have any idea what you’re talking about. None of this helps me to focus on the writing itself and what I can do to improve it.
  • Do talk about what "works" and what "doesn't work": These words immediately focus my attention on the writing itself, which is where the attention belongs. Use of this language creates an emotional distance that allows us to talk objectively about what’s going on in the writing and whether or not it is effective or ineffective for the given purpose.

Please help me let go of my ego; be honest and keep it professional.

An edited photo of me in your head.  Creepy, huh?
An edited photo of me in your head. Creepy, huh? | Source

Take Me Trippin' in Your Head

I once told a friend of mine in high school—a girl I happened to be interested in—that I thought it very limiting that I would have to be stuck being me my whole life. I would never get the chance to experience what it was like to be her—to see the world through her eyes. Needless to say, that was not the best approach for getting a first date.

Nonetheless, this is a central problem for all writers. A writer can only experience his or her writing through his or her own eyes. Even though the writer wrote it for you, the writer can’t experience it as you do because the writer is not inside your head. There is no greater gift you can give an author than this: to open that door. Let the author experience his or her writing through your eyes. You will find many strengths and weaknesses that are invisible to the writer. Only through your feedback does that writer have a chance to consider them and decide for him or herself what to do with the writing.

Taking the writer on a trip through your experience, however, requires the use of very specific details. Generalized comments lead toward a sense of whether or not you liked the piece, but rarely identify specific strengths or weaknesses in the writing. The writer needs to know precisely what you were thinking and feeling as you were going through the writing.

These details can be separated into two basic categories:

  1. Does The Writing Make Sense?
  • If you get lost or confused, the writer needs to know. Sure, sometimes confusion in a story or poem can be good; it adds mystery and intrigue. Readers know the difference, however, between curiosity and frustration. If the confusion is annoying, the author needs to know exactly what details of the writing are causing it so they can be fixed.
  • If something is fascinating, the writer needs to know. When you learn something interesting or a particular event makes you curious, let the author know. When the writer can get a sense of the specific details that created this reaction, he or she can capitalize on them.
  1. Is the Writing Vivid?
  • Let the author live inside the world his or her writing creates for you. Rich sensory detail is critical in crafting immersive writing, and authors spend a tremendous amount of time working their language to create vivid detail. Authors are often deceived, however, as they have access to the complete imaginative experience they are trying to create where the reader has only the words. The writer needs access to the reader’s experience to see how well the words match the original ideas.
  • Specifically discuss what the words allow you to see, hear, touch, taste, and smell. Helping the writer to understand the sensory details you experienced as you read specific sections of his or her writing is extremely valuable. Pointing out both strengths and weaknesses will help the writer to focus on re-crafting the writing for greater immersive depth.

That's right.  You're feelin' me now.
That's right. You're feelin' me now. | Source

Do You Feel Me?

Whenever I speak this phrase at school, the students are guaranteed to laugh at me. Apparently middle-aged English teachers just can't pull it off with the same pizazz as a thirteen-year-old. Nevertheless, the sentiment still applies here.

Do you feel me?--do you understand what I am saying? When it comes to giving feedback on writing, sadly, an author's response to this question would often be no. Comments are too generalized and lack the specific language needed to clearly articulate ideas.

You see, really understanding and intelligently discussing any area of human knowledge requires the use of the right words. To discuss music without knowing what "harmony" and "melody" mean is pointless, football will be lost on you if you don't know what a "running back" is, and good luck balancing your checkbook without understanding "withdrawals" and "deposits." This is also true for writing. Only by using precise words can you specifically articulate what you mean.

In writing, these words fall into three categories: Grammar, Genre-Specific Terminology, and Topic-Specific Terminology.

Grammar: All writers use grammar. References to punctuation, sentence construction, and word usage are easy to make specific and provide important feedback for a writer. Keep in mind that grammar, which for most people is only remembered as a giant stick that your English teacher used to beat you with in school (ah, the joys of teaching), actually lies at the core of all beautiful writing. Grammar is not just about rules; it is also about making artistic choices in how one presents his or her vision. Helping a writer see where they are making mistakes and, even better, helping a writer see where he or she is making effective aesthetic decisions about the way he or she phrases ideas, is extremely useful.

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Genre-Specific Terminology: These words allow you to articulate specific ideas about common aspects of the given genre in which the writer is writing. Poets speak of lines, stanzas, rhyming, and figurative language. Fiction writers speak of characters, setting, plot, and conflict. Academic writers speak of theories, reasoning, and evidence. Using the right terminology in your critiques allows you to address how well these genre-specific elements of the writing are working, making the feedback valuable for the writer.

Topic-Specific Terminology: This is language that is relevant to the subject about which the author is writing. Once again, if I'm writing about football, then you need to use the specific language of football when discussing what's working or not working in my writing. Doing so allows you to speak to specific opinions or lines reasoning that a given author is using in his or her writing.

Conclusion

Short shots like, "Great writing," and, "This was fun to read," give a writer a boost, but they don't help the writer to grow. Keep the following things in mind, and start using the wonderful gift of your own unique perspective to help others improve their writing:

  • Be Honest: Provide both positive and constructive criticisms
  • Be Specific: Provide specific examples from the author's writing to support your criticisms
  • Use Literary Terminology: Use the language of writing for the clear articulation of ideas

Thanks for taking the time to read. I'd love to hear what you think!

Articles on Writing
Articles on Writing | Source

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    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 5 years ago from Central Oregon

      Really great topic for a hub~ Good luck in the contest and congrats on making it in!

    • wayseeker profile image
      Author

      wayseeker 5 years ago from Colorado

      Sincere thanks, akirchner. It's doing double duty for me as I plan on sharing this with my students in the fall as well. This has been a great place to get some experience with "real" web writing to take back to my classroom.

      Happy writing!

      wayseeker

    • Hyphenbird profile image

      Brenda Barnes 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

      Hi wayseeker. I enjoyed this Hub. As one of the, I believe, few who welcome constructive critique, it is helpful. You are so right to note that the writer cannot be in the reader's head or know how they perceive the offering. And thank you, thank you, a thousand times for noting grammar and punctuation must be maintained. Especially in poetry, people seem to think "as long as you write from the heart" it is perfect.

      You must be a fun teacher per your fun writing style and hilarious photos. Thanks for a great Hub and a learning tool. Hyphenbird

    • wayseeker profile image
      Author

      wayseeker 5 years ago from Colorado

      Hyph,

      Wonderfully thoughtful feedback here--thanks! The issue of maintaining punctuation in poetry is one I fight constantly at school. I am always battling students who want to just, "write what I feel" and think its marvelous. Grammar is actually, if anything, more important in poetry! If you pull away from traditional poetry, there had better be a good reason that you can justify based on what you've crafted in the poem. EE Cummings wasn't just crazy, he had a purpose.

      Thanks for the thoughts. I look forward to reading more of your work.

      wayseeker

    • danielleantosz profile image

      danielleantosz 5 years ago from Florida

      I like the tips on responding to writing: very true and very important on this site.

    • profile image

      Suramya.K 5 years ago

      Thanks for this awesome article. Many hubbers don't like to be criticized and I tend to keep space from them. Whenever I see something wrong, I contact the user and I don't feel like saying all the things in the comments. If they get offended by this, we can do nothing.

      Anyways, we are a community and we should be helping others grow while helping ourselves. Your writing style is truly charming and the pictures are well illustrated. Cheers!

    • profile image

      Binaya.Ghimire 5 years ago

      We don't grow or our writing does not mature in absence of criticism. Very useful hub.

    • wayseeker profile image
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      wayseeker 5 years ago from Colorado

      danielleantosz & Suramya.K,

      Thank you! I try very hard to be loving and kind in the criticism I provide for other hubbers. Both as a teacher, and as a hubber, I have found that the real trick is to be sure that you always find deep and genuine positive things to say about another person's writing. But I don't really feel like I've done the writer a service unless I include a few small suggestions--everyone can write better, but it takes all of us to help make it happen!

      Besides, you don't have to listen to me if you don't want to--my students have certainly mastered that.

      My best to the both of you in your writing and your lives,

      wayseeker

    • wayseeker profile image
      Author

      wayseeker 5 years ago from Colorado

      Thanks Binaya. Lay in to my work every chance you get!

      I'll be swinging by some of your new postings soon as well.

      Best,

      wayseeker

    • Clairepeek profile image

      Clairepeek 5 years ago

      Wayseeker,

      I wish you had been my English teacher - in France! Your hub was very instructive and at first I even thought provoking: precisely the way you said it would. I am very resistant to 'advices' on my writing, but at the same time, I am starving for it.

      The way you talk about using precise words to criticize someone else's work gave me a better clue about my own way of receiving criticism. I understand better my own resistance to it, thank you for that; that was a fun discovery!

      I do agree with you when you say that it is courageous for a writer to put his/her work 'out there'; I think also that it may show two things: seeking confirmation for ones work or seeking criticism to better ones writing - it might be both too. Whether one stands for one or the other, criticism may be taken the wrong way - no matter the precision of the words used to formulate a critic.

      Congratulations on being chosen for 'Hub of the day'; it is well deserved and useful... I would not have found your hub otherwise and I would have missed on precious advices.

      Thank you.

      /Clairepeek

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 5 years ago from Germany

      Congratulation for the hub of the day! Thank you for writing this hub. It is a great help for me when somebody gives an honest feedback, may it be in negative or positive criticism so that I will know if I need improvements in writing. Thanks for sharing.

    • kasthlin profile image

      kasthlin 5 years ago

      Hub of the day! and a nice topic indeed! criticism are sometimes reads differently on how people handle and gives them.

    • moiragallaga profile image

      Moira Garcia Gallaga 5 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      Congratulations for making hub of the day! Well deserved. This is a very important topic I might say and thanks for sharing your valuable insights into the art of constructive criticism. I'm new to Hub Pages and I love writing. I know I have lots to learn so I welcome criticism as I see this as valuable feedback to allow me to improve and grow.

    • Paradise7 profile image

      Paradise7 5 years ago from Upstate New York

      Good hub. I'll try to follow your advice in my comments, and see what happens. I'm very careful NOT to be the least bit negative in my feedback, (most of the time) as I don't want to discourage people from contributing. Maybe there are times when I could be more specific.

    • wayseeker profile image
      Author

      wayseeker 5 years ago from Colorado

      Clairepeek,

      Thank you. A student from France is a wonderful thought. As for the giving and receiving of advice, anytime one writes anything there is a risk of being misunderstood--in fact it's a virtual guarantee. The good news is that the writer always has the choice to take it or leave it as sometimes advice is relevant and sometimes it's not, no matter how perceptive the critic might be.

      I sincerely appreciate the depth of your thoughts, and I wish you the very best in your future hubbing!

      wayseeker

    • wayseeker profile image
      Author

      wayseeker 5 years ago from Colorado

      Thelma,

      Thank you for taking the time to read.

      wayseeker

    • wayseeker profile image
      Author

      wayseeker 5 years ago from Colorado

      kasthlin,

      Criticism certainly takes many forms. Almost all of it can be useful when viewed from the right perspective.

      Thanks for reading!

      wayseeker

    • wayseeker profile image
      Author

      wayseeker 5 years ago from Colorado

      moiragallanga,

      Welcome to the Hubpages experience. It has certainly been an adventure for me, I hope you find it the same. I am pleased you found something useful here.

      Happy writing!

      wayseeker

    • wayseeker profile image
      Author

      wayseeker 5 years ago from Colorado

      Paradise7,

      I'm pleased this held something useful for you. I fully understand the desire not to offend--I try to tread carefully with this, and there have been times when my intentions are received the wrong way. That said, I have found my comments here to be well received where I have left them, and I have sincerely appreciated the advice I have received about my own writing. I need pointers just as much as anyone else!

      My young middle school students are, in fact, quite fond of shredding my work. I always welcome it. This, too, proves a great lesson for them.

      My best to you in your future writing!

      wayseeker

    • BethanRose profile image

      BethanRose 5 years ago from South Wales

      A very helpful hub and very deserving of its Hub of the day award! This has really taught me some things I should have known! Thankyou.

    • John Sarkis profile image

      John Sarkis 5 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Great hub wayseeker! You changed your profile photo. So at first, I didn't even knew who you were - congrats on winning - keep it up!

      Take care

      John

    • Kyle Rivers profile image

      Kyle Rivers 5 years ago from Detroit, Michigan

      I learned these things in high school regarding the sensory descriptions to allow the reader to pretty much "visualize" what you're talking about. If you're mentioning an apple you ate for the day. The reader would like to know what color, texture, or even the taste of the apple. I really loved this hub. Voted up!

    • psutradhar343 profile image

      psutradhar343 5 years ago from Dhaka, Bangladesh

      This type of writing always helpful for others. It's totally awesome......

    • camsolivia profile image

      Camille Olivia Strate 5 years ago from Planet Earth

      This is one of the best pieces I've ever read on the net. No kidding. I was instantly transported back to my High School creative writing class; the teacher's name was Lynn Spieglemeyer..(can you believe I still remember her name after all these years?!) and she was, without question, one of my most influential teachers. Your style (delivery) here is very much akin to hers. She was "firm" but colorful in her teaching methods; as you are here. Made me grin like a Cheshire.

      Thanks for sharing your goods. I'll most certainly be back for more of your offerings.

      Hugs & Giggles ~

    • myhomestudios profile image

      myhomestudios 5 years ago from Vancouver

      Awesome topic and really really helpful!

    • bulkdive profile image

      bulkdive 5 years ago from Marina, Ca

      This Hub is seriously more useful than the thirty page reader that I was issued last semester in my Advanced Comp class. I'm going to keep it in mind when my Creative Writing class starts this semester.

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 5 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Congrats on being Hub Of The Day wayseeker!! This hub serves as a writing tool for many. Well thought out and told. Kudos to you!!!

    • wayseeker profile image
      Author

      wayseeker 5 years ago from Colorado

      BethanRose,

      It's always nice to know that someone found your work useful. Thanks!

      Best of luck on your writing!

      wayseeker

    • tchenruiz profile image

      tchenruiz 5 years ago from San Francisco Bay Area

      Wayseeker - Thank you for this wonderful HUB. I love literature. I read Pride & Prejudice when I was in 3rd grade, the one w/ English on one page and Chinese on the other. I read the Chinese part, of course. English being my 3rd language, I always feel inadequate in my writing. Thanks for the tips, and I'll keep on improving my grammar. Believe it or not, I think Chinese grammar is so much easier. Congrats again!

    • wayseeker profile image
      Author

      wayseeker 5 years ago from Colorado

      John,

      Thanks for the support! I can't wait to find time to read your Beethoven/Dostoevsky hub. I'm fairly convinced you must be some kind of long lost brother or something. First the Schumann Carnival, and now two of my very favorite artists in the world in one hub?

      Sweet.

      It may take a day or two, but you'll see me there soon.

      Best,

      wayseeker

    • wayseeker profile image
      Author

      wayseeker 5 years ago from Colorado

      Kyle,

      There are so many wonderful things that we so easily forget. That's one of the reasons I put this together--I need more people out there shredding my work!

      Happy writing!

      wayseeker

    • wayseeker profile image
      Author

      wayseeker 5 years ago from Colorado

      psutradar343,

      That is my hope!

      Happy writing.

      wayseeker

    • wayseeker profile image
      Author

      wayseeker 5 years ago from Colorado

      camsolivia,

      Wow. Thank you. If I was able to bring back memories like that for you and nothing else with this hub, then it was well worth the time. There is nothing like those great teachers we had a chance to know. As a teacher, I can only hope to serve in that place for a few of those I am blessed to teach.

      My best to you!

      wayseeker

    • saddlerider1 profile image

      saddlerider1 5 years ago

      What a magnificent Hub, I can see why it was chosen as Hub of the Day. You have shed some very important light not only to your students but to the rest of your students out here in the real world of writers like myself who are constantly humbled by others more talented and versed with the written word.

      As a poet I reveal often The Trippin through my head, mostly from my past and often dark experiences. I have managed to express myself well enough to secure a following here. Yet I am a student of scribes, I to understand the value of expression, and clarity.

      My poems come to me naturally, due to very strong imagery that I capture from my soul, then lay it down in front of me. Thank you for sharing your knowledge. I VOTED your hub UP and pressed all your buttons.

    • FloraBreenRobison profile image

      FloraBreenRobison 5 years ago

      Congratulations on being chosen hub of the day. Constructive criticism is important in all of life. I've been to music festivals where the adjudicator has been very helpful, and I have been at music festivals where the adjudicator only wanted to deal with the people who were good enough to make it to the provincials-ie, they didn't need any help. What exactly was she being paid to do? -Just hand out awards?

    • wayseeker profile image
      Author

      wayseeker 5 years ago from Colorado

      myhomestudios,

      Thank you!

      Good luck with your writing.

      wayseeker

    • wayseeker profile image
      Author

      wayseeker 5 years ago from Colorado

      bulkdive,

      More useful than a 35 page reader? Cool. Of course, as much as I respect the huge amount I have learned in undergraduate and graduate school, the number of useless readers I've read is far too high to count! ;)

      I'm glad you found it useful. Best of luck with the class, and be sure to let us see some of that new work here when you get the chance.

      Good luck with your writing!

      wayseeker

    • wayseeker profile image
      Author

      wayseeker 5 years ago from Colorado

      Sunshine 625,

      An early voice in pulling for me here on Hubpages--your support means more than you know.

      Sincerest thanks,

      wayseeker

    • RedElf profile image

      RedElf 5 years ago from Canada

      Congratulations on your award! I can certainly see why this hub was chosen!

    • wayseeker profile image
      Author

      wayseeker 5 years ago from Colorado

      tchenruiz,

      Pride & Prejudice in the 3rd grade? Clearly you were a slacker in school. ;) English is a third language, too? I'm okay at my first, but I can barely hack my way through Spanish, and I know virtually nothing about anything else. What a wonderful gift.

      You should go easy on yourself with your mastery of English--it's quite good. I also suspect it's not surprising that Chinese grammar is easier--English grammar is a mess. I'm a long way from having that truly nailed down as I should. Still, that whole character-memorizing thing seems a bit daunting when it comes to learning Chinese.

      Whatever the case, language is beautiful in whatever form it takes.

      Thanks for taking the time to read, and I'm glad you found it helpful.

      Best,

      wayseeker

    • The Suburban Poet profile image

      The Suburban Poet 5 years ago from Austin, Texas

      Congratulations on being picked as hub of the day. I think the 10% comment is very important. I am incredibly patient and apparently very egotistical as almost all my work is first draft and hit "post comment." I wonder what I could do if I slowed down and even possibly consolidated lines from other pieces that cover similar topics.... something to think about... meanwhile I gulp coffee and pound the keyboard in fear of forgetting what I want to say... Thank you for the great hub.

    • visionandfocus profile image

      visionandfocus 5 years ago from North York, Canada

      Excellent article on an important subject. I've always been leery about giving critiques, but there are tons of great tips here to enable me to do a good job of it. Thanks for sharing. This hub is a great resource not only for those who are called upon to critique other people's work but also for writers themselves. I find it enormously helpful. Thank you.

    • kallini2010 profile image

      kallini2010 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      She came and made a comment "Great post. Thanks".

      And another one. And another one. In one minute she read three of my amazingly amazing and I have to say long articles.

      Before I would be furious, but what is the point of fuming? I said "Thank you" for every "great post", visited her section and did the same - three comments "Great post. Thanks" in one minute. She did not say anything.

      This is called "the mirror effect". No need for a long rebuttal.

      That is only a reflection of how I learn to give constructive criticism - before I would have said "It appears to me that you did not read my article" and be offended.

      Or worse yet, write a long critique. Usually for subject matter, not for style, because if style is not there - reading is a torture and I think I have passed that stage.

      Once (I hope it was the last time) I got myself into "discussion" (a fight more like) with a woman who did not seem to be worth fighting with. She was condescending and patronizing.

      She told me that I "write my hubs well, but not my comments. UNFORTUNATELY." As if she read all my hubs and all my comments. But the issue was linguistics and she said "you seem to be an expert in linguistics?"

      I am not an expert, but I know enough to see that her article is at best inaccurate.

      Then she responds that "despite me she is a linguist by education..."

      "Despite me.." was enough for me to lose all respect.

      I don't write long critiques and most readers (at least here on HubPages) don't.

      "AAAAAAAWWWWWWWWWEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMEEEEEE" feels as fake as it gets.

      I have the courage to write, but not to offer my advice because I don't think it is welcome and I don't want to hurt anybody's feelings.

      If I have to accept criticism, I have to respect the one offering it. It does not happen too often here either.

      I do agree, that we as readers do not see what writers see and mean and try to convey. In their work we see .... ourselves. It is a mirror house of reflections. I am planning to write an article "Mirror House", but it takes me a long time because I get lost and confused myself.

      Thank you for your suggestions. And I agree - 90% of what I write ... However, with my rules of creativity, it is acceptable : I call creativity - crap-activity. It has to go out, then it can be s-crapped.

    • Pamela N Red profile image

      Pamela N Red 5 years ago from Oklahoma

      Great information here. Writers must be able to take as well as give criticism. You have described the proper way of doing it.

    • tanujpanwar profile image

      tanujpanwar 5 years ago

      gr8 work..............an inspiring and informative hub........cheers

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

      Congrats on the Hub of the Day award. It's well deserved. This is valuable to writers and readers because the old saying is true, "We should value our critics." Thanks for guidelines to keep in mind. They are worth revisiting every so often! Voted up.

    • DzyMsLizzy profile image

      Liz Elias 5 years ago from Oakley, CA

      Congratulations on the Hub of the Day award--well deserved!

      You make excellent points. I would add that it is doubtful any such constructive criticisms will ever be seen here in the HP comments, for 2 reasons:

      1) not all authors are native English-speakers and writers, and

      2) many people making comments (myself included) would not even think of making a correction in a public forum.

      Worrying about hurting someone's feelings is a valid concern; we humans can be a hyper-sensitive lot all wound up inside the yarn of our egos. A few times, I've found something so glaring that I did feel the need to make a comment or gentle correction, and I did so, but by means of the 'contact hubber' private message.

      If I may be so bold as to add an explanatory post-script regarding my own preferences and reactions to descriptive writing:

      I do enjoy reading colorful and cogent descriptions in various authors' works; and this includes famous published authors, not just us 'Hubbers.'

      This can be carried to far, though--I lose patience rapidly with authors who carry on for an entire first chapter describing every nuance of the shadows in the grass, counting the pleats in characters' clothing and dreaming up clever color-names for the paint on the houses. My reaction to that level of detail is, "Get on with the story, already!"

      Grammar and spelling are vitally important, and what many do not understand is that we as authors must have a firm grasp of those subjects in order to successfully break the rules to portray a given character's speech patterns. If all the spelling and grammar is sloppy, there is no distinction between the characters' dialogue or the narrative portion of the tale.

      I applaud your efforts to educate the youth (a thankless task these days, I fear), and us "Hubbers." I have a few rants of my own on the topic. ;-)

      Cheers!

    • NiaLee profile image

      NiaLee 5 years ago from BIG APPLE

      Ok, great article, now, where do you teach, I want to take your class. Seriously!

    • NiaLee profile image

      NiaLee 5 years ago from BIG APPLE

      You definitely remind me of my teacher in first year in college...the only thing is she was so cold and constructive criticism was not a forte! So, we didn't learn a lot from her, just that we need to work harder and better...that came from the bad grades she gave us!LOL

      I really want to improve my writing: style, tone, structure... I know I can do better and want to. I just miss some time with the kids and so many other things I do. But this is my priority, to become a good professional writer and a best seller author...yes yes sir!

    • wayseeker profile image
      Author

      wayseeker 5 years ago from Colorado

      saddlerider1,

      Looks like I need to check out some poetry! The one thing that folks kept commenting on in my creative writing as I moved through my education was how my strength seemed to be with darker material. I tried humor once, and it just didn't fly. Light. Romatic. I tried a lot, but nothing worked like the darker stuff from the deep soul.

      I'll drop by and check it out! Thanks for taking the time to read.

      Best of luck in your writing,

      wayseeker

    • wayseeker profile image
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      wayseeker 5 years ago from Colorado

      Flora,

      My roots are in music--going a long way back. I, too, have been to many a music festival and seen the people you describe. It seems in any are of human endeavor, including the arts, there are those who seem to feel they have it figured out, and some make it a point to speak as though they do. This is largely transparent, and many people see right through it, causing them to lose whatever authority their skill may have earned them. It is very rare for someone to really listen to someone they do not respect.

      I make it a point to help my students understand that each and every one of them has something unique to say, and that I, no matter how much "better" they might think I am at writing, have a great deal to learn from them. I am humbled every year by what they teach me that I did not know--I have been humbled here at Hubpages numerous times already in just a short time. Humility opens our ears, giving us a chance to listen, and possibly grow.

      In the end, that's the whole point.

      Thanks for your wonderful thoughts,

      wayseeker

    • wayseeker profile image
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      wayseeker 5 years ago from Colorado

      RedElf,

      Thanks! I can see from a short time at your profile that I have hours and hours of learning to gain from you--which will commence shortly. It is an honor for such a well-recognized writer from "Hubville" to have good things to say about my work. Thank you.

      My best to you in your future writing,

      wayseeker

    • wayseeker profile image
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      wayseeker 5 years ago from Colorado

      The Suburban Poet,

      Thanks for taking the time to read! Your comment reminds me of a conversation I have with many a student from year to year about Robert Frost. He was well known for writing his poems down in near-perfect form the first time. So does he disprove the 90/10 rule?

      I would argue that he does not. First, he was a genius, so I suspect the 90/10 rule that applies to us normal folks is skewed a bit in his favor--say 50/50. Still, you also don't see all the work he did in his head before he wrote it down. If we could rummage through the trash can in his head, how many rejected drafts of really bad poems would we find?

      People simply work differently. Some do it on paper. Some in their heads. No one gets by without doing the work, however; no free rides.

      For me, my fingers go nuts on microsoft word, and I filter out the best--more or less--to put out there. I have mounds of worthless drivel shoved in the back of my hard drive.

      My best to you in your future writing,

      wayseeker

      P.S. As a side note, for anyone who happens to be in my class, you get no credit for what's in your head. I don't care if you are Robert Frost, in my class you get to write it down!

    • wayseeker profile image
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      wayseeker 5 years ago from Colorado

      Vision and Focus,

      I'm very pleased that it was helpful. Both as a teacher and as a writer myself, I am now convinced that learning how to critique the writing of others well is centrally important to one's own development as a writer. Only when you learn to see deeply into another writer's work do you begin to have the ability to see deeply into your own.

      Happy writing!

      wayseeker

    • wayseeker profile image
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      wayseeker 5 years ago from Colorado

      Kallini2010,

      I'm very sorry that you had such a bad experience with criticism. People are people, and I'm afraid such things cannot be avoided from time to time. Most people, however, are quite reasonable, and will respond well to advice that is given in a kind and caring way (being certain to ALWAYS point out more strengths than weaknesses helps significantly).

      I am a "volume" writer as well--just let it flow. LOTS needs to be scrapped and re-done afterwords, however. It's all part of the fun!

      Happy writing,

      wayseeker

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      wayseeker 5 years ago from Colorado

      Pamela,

      Thank you for taking the time to read!

      wayseeker

    • wayseeker profile image
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      wayseeker 5 years ago from Colorado

      tanujpanwar,

      Inspiration--now there's a word I love. I'm please to hear this was helpful to you.

      Best of luck in your future writing,

      wayseeker

    • wayseeker profile image
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      wayseeker 5 years ago from Colorado

      Rtalloni,

      We must constantly be reminded of those things we need to know--people are very forgetful. My wife is sure to help me remember as much on a regular basis!

      I'm glad you enjoyed it, and thanks for taking the time to read.

      wayseeker

    • Christopher Dapo profile image

      Christopher Dapo and S. 5 years ago from Havelock, NC

      Wow, what a hub, including the ever-growing list of comments! Indeed you are offering wonderful advise in all areas of writing and critiquing. I always appreciate constructive criticism and personally love it when someone points out a mistake in my writing. In most cases, here on HubPages I get a better feel for the authors and the messages they are trying to display.

      My advice to others, which I take to heart myself is, don't be afraid to post or publish something you need to put up and out there, it is scary at times, but if you put down that you want the criticism to help you improve your writing, it might come easier both for you to accept it as well as for others to post it.

      I tend to write long paragraphs and huge sentences, and you know what - I love hearing about it, and what's more, I also do it subconsciously on purpose because it forces you to pay attention and get the point I'm making.

      Now, you asked for some constructive criticism, so here goes - You sound too much like Mr. Know-It-All...but then again, you are for the most part, so consider my attempt at being your critic a faltered one! :D

      Happy literary trails,

      Christopher

    • wayseeker profile image
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      wayseeker 5 years ago from Colorado

      DzyMsLizzy,

      You make many wonderful point here--thanks so much for your thoughtful response!

      I agree that such criticisms are rare here, but I will run with the belief that there could be more, and I'll support them with all that I can.

      I have left a number of criticisms that I have tried to make resemble what I describe here. Out of ten or so comments, everyone's reception has been grateful (though I suppose there's no way of knowing for sure, as many whose feelings might be hurt by such a thing would not be likely to write about that in response).

      Still, two of those ten people have messaged me directly requesting a review of their revised pieces--now that's awesome. I have, then, been able to forward my work on to them for similar feedback. This is the life-blood of a community in which writers genuinely grow.

      Awesome.

      My best to you in your future writing, and please feel free to shred my work anytime!

      wayseeker

    • The Suburban Poet profile image

      The Suburban Poet 5 years ago from Austin, Texas

      wayseeker - Well that's just great. I read your response to me, went back to read my comment and saw that I had a typo! I said I was patient when in fact I meant to say I was very impatient!

      It's interesting what you said about Frost and certainly not comparing myself to him at all but I do believe that I discard things in my mind before I write. But it's not the actual poem itself that goes through multiple drafts in my mind; it's the idea or the premise. Once I reach the point where I understand my own point of view then it goes very quickly. It's that unconsiousness where "the pen does the writing" that I seek. I don't like to agonize. It's either ready or I don't consider myself to have the insight I seek to express. I have written several advice type pieces that were long for my standards and they flowed quickly. The main thing is I don't work it over and over. Either I have it or I don't. Of course this isn't meant to elevate myself. It's just how I work and for all I know it's obvious to all meaning it is not a high standard.

      I read an interview with John Lennon and he relayed a story about an artist who was paid a large sum of money to draw a painting. Ten years passed and still he had not produced the work. When the man who commisisoned the painting asked where it was the painter produced a painting in less than one hour. The man protested that he paid too much money for a painting that took so little time and the artist said "Yes, but I thought about it for ten years."

    • Christopher Dapo profile image

      Christopher Dapo and S. 5 years ago from Havelock, NC

      Don't feel so bad, Suburban - he left a typo, too!! :D

    • wayseeker profile image
      Author

      wayseeker 5 years ago from Colorado

      Christopher,

      Awesome response. Thank you. Someone turned this critique business back on me; I love it.

      Point well taken, and I sincerely hope that I've not turned people off by responding in so much depth.

      Here are my purposes behind this: I have been going through and responding to everyone who has posted their thoughts, which I feel is very important, because I wanted to give my thoughts on what they had to say so they knew I was taking it to heart. About half way through I began to fear coming off as you describe--a Mr. Know-it-all. I am pleased to hear you say this, and I would beg for anyone out there who can help me stop that to do so.

      I guess that leaves me with a question, and it is an honest one: would it be better to simply say thank you to everyone individually and move on? My own take on that is that it does not really honor the time you've taken to read my work. Are my thoughts in response to your thoughts helpful, or are they preachy? If the responses offend, then I will absolutely cease and desist!

      Good luck in your writing, and thanks so much for the candid comment--it absolutely helps!

      wayseeker

      P.S. I love the idea of directly requesting critical feedback--I think it will help make people more comfortable with the idea.

    • wayseeker profile image
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      wayseeker 5 years ago from Colorado

      Hey Christopher,

      Where is it? Nasty little typos. :)

      wayseeker

    • wayseeker profile image
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      wayseeker 5 years ago from Colorado

      NiaLee,

      It is an honor to have you say such a thing, and I've a similar goal--though it is still very, very far away. We just have to keep on writing and letting the world tear it apart so we can see what needs to be done.

      Thanks for reading,

      wayseeker

    • The Suburban Poet profile image

      The Suburban Poet 5 years ago from Austin, Texas

      You weren't preachy to me... Personally I'm not sure if I want criticism or not... I'm not necessarily trying to follow the rules. Certainly I want to spell correctly and use an apostrophe as appropriate but unless I'm just being completely incoherent it's sort of "here it is" and "this is what I meant to say." But if you ever read anything of mine and truly see something that could raise me to another level then... well... ok... I guess so.....

    • wayseeker profile image
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      wayseeker 5 years ago from Colorado

      The Suburban Poet,

      Hah! The Lennon story is awesome.

      I so appreciate the time you've taken to write. Thank you.

      wayseeker

    • Christopher Dapo profile image

      Christopher Dapo and S. 5 years ago from Havelock, NC

      In your response to Flora you said -

      It seems in any are of human endeavor, including the arts, there are those who seem to feel they have it figured out, and some make it a point to speak as though they do.

      You meant to have it say "area" not "are" :)

      As for the individual responses, it's wonderful and I think it's very important to converse and acknowledge, especially on similar points of interest. It is, after all, inherent in our own spiritual nature to share thoughts and ideas, else we would have never come to a medium of language to begin with. ;)

      Let it be read, let it be written, let it be said though it may be smitten, better it's there rather than it'nt! :D

    • wayseeker profile image
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      wayseeker 5 years ago from Colorado

      Christopher,

      That poem at the end is absolutely stupendous! Very clever.

      Thanks.

      wayseeker

    • profile image

      Liola Lee 5 years ago

      It is so true how we are afraid to offend the writer/author when giving feedback. For a while I showcased some work on a writers website called 'Authonomy' as I was loooking for constructive criticism so that I could improve my writing. Of course, there were some who did offer valuable criticism but in the main it was merely comments such as 'well done', 'great work' and so forth. I read your article as I was drawn to the title. I have found it most useful. Thank you for the virtual lesson!!

    • wayseeker profile image
      Author

      wayseeker 5 years ago from Colorado

      Liola,

      Honestly, I do not have enough experience out here in the "real world" of adult authorship to know how common it is for writers to really know how to respond to one another's work. (Which, by the way, is something I learned a great deal about through my master's work with National University--so there was a steep learning curve for me, too.) I know that among my students it is virtually non-existent.

      If this hub has helped anyone take even a little step farther down the path, then it was time well spent. I'm so pleased you found it useful.

      Thanks for taking the time to read!

      wayseeker

    • eddiecarrara profile image

      Eddie Carrara 5 years ago from New Hampshire

      Thanks wayseeker for a very interesting article. When I was in school, many moons ago, I was one of the students who sat quietly in the back of the class, and sort of fell through the cracks. I had no interest in learning at the time and I even quit my typing class because I thought it would never benefit me in life. If only I knew then, what I know now, I would have never walked out of typing class and I defiantly would have spent more time on my English and grammar homework.

      I do my best with the education I have, and try to help reader with their specific problems. It takes me much longer to write a hub than the average hubber, but my intent is to educate people on what I know and what I understand. I find myself getting lost while writing and many time having a difficult time getting my point across in words. I ask for constructive criticism in my profile, but the type of readers I attract, are there for the information, not for helping me with my writing:)

      If you ever happen to read any of my hubs, I am welcome to any and all suggestion. I think I have improve a lot since I first started on line four years ago, so you can only imagine what type of train wrecks I have produced in the past. Lol

      Eddiecarrara

    • wayseeker profile image
      Author

      wayseeker 5 years ago from Colorado

      Eddie,

      How awesome that you have come here to share what you know! Having the commitment to write when it's hard is one of the greatest strengths I see in some of my students. When that strength develops varies, but so many never get there at all. My sincere compliments to you.

      It may take a little while, but I will definitely stop by and see what you have shared and leave my thoughts for you. Thanks so much for taking the time to leave yours here.

      My best to you in your writing!

      wayseeker

    • Sunny2o0o profile image

      Sunny2o0o 5 years ago from USA

      In your classes, I'm just curious, do you also say anything about practice? Even our most celebrated authors weren't brilliant the first time that they put pen to paper or, in more recent years, fingers to keyboard; rather, it took them a lot of practice, during which they probably produced a lot of terrible work, as you so rightly mention. Does the 90-10% take that into account? It isn't just editing out the bad, it's also getting to a point where there is something to be edited out along the way to making good work.

    • wayseeker profile image
      Author

      wayseeker 5 years ago from Colorado

      Sunny2o0o,

      You make an excellent point here, and I address this in my classes with a story:

      When I began my career, I was a middle school band director. One of the coolest things about beginning band is this: every person in the room is absolutely HORRIBLE on the first day. Every kid goes to make a sound, and it's guaranteed to sound like a dying animal. Now isn't that awesome?

      Naturally, I get confused looks from the students. You see, even Mozart was awful the first time he played an instrument. Louis Armstrong made the same death-throws-of-a-dying-cow sound that you just did when he first went to play the trumpet. Imagine the possibilities! We all start here as equals, so we don't have to worry about all of that who's better than who business--we're all terrible together. From there, we can begin to learn. We can grow--which is the whole point.

      Of course, it only takes a few weeks for this to fall away, but, it you work at it, you can maintain the sense of adventure. I then translate this to writing and the kids in my class. I genuinely don't care how well you write today. I'm much more interested in how you write tomorrow.

      I also make it a point to find ways to emphasize the times when the really "terrible" writers in the class point out something no one else saw, as well as emphasize the choices that good writers make that we need to imitate.

      It's definitely a journey--excellent point!

      I hope that rambling answered your question.

      Best,

      wayseeker

    • My 2 Cents Worth profile image

      My 2 Cents Worth 5 years ago

      Congratulations on your post being chosen as Hub of the Week; it was honest and entertaining. I have two daughters in high school and can only hope that they will be blessed with a teacher (like you)dedicated to improving their communication skills.

      I have worked as a secretary/office manager. In that capacity, it was my responsibility to type correspondence for the manager, but not necessarily to edit his writing. I realized that although I understood the idea he was trying to convey, what he had written was incoherent. If there is one skill that we must learn in school, it must be the ability to communicate well.

      We may never need to know how to solve a quadratic equation, but we will need to be able to effectively communicate our thoughts and ideas to others. Please continue to encourage your students to improve their writing.

      Looking forward to following your posts.

    • wayseeker profile image
      Author

      wayseeker 5 years ago from Colorado

      My 2 Cents Worth,

      Thank you so much for your compliments! While my deepest love is writing stories and poetry, there is no question that the basics of effective communication in writing are essential for much more mundane reasons--it's exceedingly important to be able to communicate what you need to say clearly.

      All of us struggle in both work and our personal lives to be heard. So many have wonderfully rich and important things to say, but lack the ability to do so. This is a central tenet of my work as an English teacher, and I really appreciate your very practical story in this regard.

      With your permission, I will highlight this comment when I share this piece with my students..."Yes, Billy, there is a reason for you to learn to write!"

      My best to you in your future writing,

      wayseeker

    • invitationwrite profile image

      invitationwrite 5 years ago

      I want to take your class. Seriously!

    • wayseeker profile image
      Author

      wayseeker 5 years ago from Colorado

      Well, it starts in about three weeks. If you really want to go back to middle school, then you're welcome! ;)

      Thanks for taking the time to read, and thanks for the high praise.

      wayseeker

    • Shadow of Me profile image

      Shadow of Me 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      First congratulations on hub of the day. I enjoyed reading this. When I was a kid and teenager, I like to write stories all the time. Usually they were goofy stories I made up. Occasionally I would ask one of the teachers to read them and she would give me advice. She and another teacher always encouraged me to continue to write. They also advised me on ways to get better, somewhere over the years I lost the focus.

      Now I am trying to get back into writing. I just need to figure out the types of things I would like to write. You sound like the type of teacher most students enjoy. When you try to make learning fun or interesting to young people, they are more receptive. I always enjoyed those types of teachers.

    • wayseeker profile image
      Author

      wayseeker 5 years ago from Colorado

      Shadow of Me,

      Thanks so much. It has been an honor to have so many people come through here. I very much agree that, as a student, those who made a point of making their subject fun were always the most memorable and the most successful.

      Frankly, as a teacher, I feel the same way. My class is pretty painful when I get boring for both me and the students (which happens more than I'd like, but there are days...). I encourage them to let me know when I'm talking too much--they're very good at it.

      My very best to you as you move back into your own writing!

      Thanks again,

      wayseeker

    • Stephen Kalu profile image

      stephen kalu 5 years ago from Nigeria

      wonderful hub you have here, keep it up.

    • Stephen Kalu profile image

      stephen kalu 5 years ago from Nigeria

      wonderful hub you have here, keep it up.

    • carolyn a. ridge profile image

      carolyn a. ridge 5 years ago

      Wow, what a hub! It was very well written, very well constructed. And yes, I did feel as though I was in English class again. But I loved it! I have only written one hub, so I know that I will refer to your teachings, in the future. This was not only interesting, but helpful and useful, as well. Thank you.

    • profile image

      tim wilkinson 5 years ago

      Very helpful piece. Thanks

      tlmntim9

    • invitationwrite profile image

      invitationwrite 5 years ago

      Awesome topic and really really helpful!

    • wayseeker profile image
      Author

      wayseeker 5 years ago from Colorado

      @ Stephen: Thanks so much. I hope to be able to write more like this soon.

      @ Carolyn: I'm so pleased to find that you feel this will be useful. Thanks for stopping in to read!

      @ Invitationwrite: Wonderful to hear. Thanks so much, and I do hope that you find it useful in the future.

      Good writing to you all,

      wayseeker

    • Phil Plasma profile image

      Phil Plasma 5 years ago from Montreal, Quebec

      I try to leave topical salient comments that are positive in the comments section, but will occasionally contact the author directly for grammar or word choice improvements that I think may help them to improve their hub.

      Your tip about live-don't like vs work-doesn't work is what really struck me from this hub. I'll be trying to keep it in mind as I read hubs.

      Voted up, useful and awesome.

    • wayseeker profile image
      Author

      wayseeker 5 years ago from Colorado

      Phil,

      Thanks so much. The idea of moving from like-don't like to work-doesn't work is very effective, but really hard to do. I constantly fall back into like and don't like myself. It takes real conscious effort to avoid it, but pays off in the way it is received.

      Thanks again for the read (and the private message on a grammar fix!),

      wayseeker

    • EsmeSanBona profile image

      EsmeSanBona 5 years ago from Macon

      "this piece rocks! You are the best writer to ever set pen to paper." Maybe you are that good. Seriously this is an awesome hub--fun, useful, AND interesting all at the same time. Great work--loved it.

    • wayseeker profile image
      Author

      wayseeker 5 years ago from Colorado

      Esme,

      I think that may be a tad extreme--or perhaps a great deal more than a tad--but I sincerely appreciate it nonetheless. Generally, if it's not fun, useful, and interesting my students lose interest very fast, and that can get ugly. In middle school, it's really more of a survival instinct than anything! ;)

      I am pleased that you found it useful, and thanks for taking the time to read.

      Happy writing!

    • profile image

      fashion 5 years ago

      Really great topic for a hub.I love your work.

    • wayseeker profile image
      Author

      wayseeker 5 years ago from Colorado

      Fashion,

      Thanks. I appreciate you dropping by to read. I hope it's helpful.

      wayseeker

    • htodd profile image

      htodd 5 years ago from United States

      Thanks for the great post...

    • wayseeker profile image
      Author

      wayseeker 5 years ago from Colorado

      htodd,

      Thanks to you for stopping in! I'm glad you enjoyed it.

      wayseeker

    • northweststarr profile image

      northweststarr 5 years ago from Washington State

      Seeker,

      You've come sooo far in your hubbing. I voted this one up and awesome, way better than I can do! See you've got a few more followers since the last time we chatted, too. Congrats and it couldn't be happening to a nicer guy... Y'know, you aren't a very critical person to be writing a hub about giving criticism. Maybe it comes from grading all those kids' papers? Anything has to sound good after all that! i'm one of the most critical people on the planet so I feel like I can criticize your ability to criticize. Hee hee. Sorry I've been out for a bit. New little mini-starr arrived this last summer and I've been crazy busy. Finished my revision hub... I think. Maybe you could come a criticize it? (Smirk)Have a good one and don't have too much fun on here without me.

      --Starr

    • profile image

      carolyn a. ridge 5 years ago

      I first read this hub two months ago; it was great then, as it is now. I especially agree with "writing is very personal; sharing it is a courageous act".

      The same holds true for critiquing other writers. Perhaps, it's because when we dare to correct, we often feel as though we'd better have the documentaion to prove our critiques. It's true: a picture can speak a thousand words; but a thousand words do not always create a picture. Good job. Congrats on your achievement of best hub!

    • wayseeker profile image
      Author

      wayseeker 5 years ago from Colorado

      Starr,

      My thanks for dropping in! I have been out of the loop with Hubpages myself for awhile now. The school year started and life got very, very busy. I expect I'll eventually catch up, but I don't know how soon that will be. I'll pop in and check out your Revision hub sometime soon. Fear not, I will be brutal in my review!

      In the mean time, congratulations on the mini-star...absolutely nothing like it. Take care,

      Wayseeker

    • wayseeker profile image
      Author

      wayseeker 5 years ago from Colorado

      Carolyn,

      Thanks for coming through to read it again. I spend a great deal of time in my classes getting everyone comfortable with the courage it takes to share--writing is just so personal.

      I'd not really thought about criticism being personal as well, but I think you are absolutely right.

      Good luck on your future writing,

      wayseeker

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey

      So glad to see this excellent hub on appreciating constructive criticism still going strong.

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 4 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      This is very informative, I found myself nodding my head in agreement all the way through. This is so useful, I'm book marking for reference. Thank you for sharing.

    • mmsu profile image

      mmsu 4 years ago from Pakistan

      I definitely believe in constructive criticism.Great idea for a hub!!

    • wayseeker profile image
      Author

      wayseeker 4 years ago from Colorado

      RTalloni,

      Thanks. This was my first real success here on Hubpages. So happy to be a continuing part of the community here.

      Best,

      wayseeker

    • wayseeker profile image
      Author

      wayseeker 4 years ago from Colorado

      tobusiness,

      Thanks for stopping in to read. It's gratifying to know there are others out there who resonate with this material. I hope that it serves you well!

      wayseeker

    • wayseeker profile image
      Author

      wayseeker 4 years ago from Colorado

      mmsu,

      I would be an awful writer without it, and I hope to just keep getting better with its help. Thanks for reading!

      wayseeker

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