One of the reasons one reads papers like the New York Times is to read good writing. And one of the reasons one might check in on the Opinionator Blogs is to read the occasional series on the art of writing, “Draft.”
The piece by John Kaag, “The Perfect Essay,” is worth a look. He offers a reminder about what we often call “criticism”:
First off, it hurts. Genuine criticism, the type that leaves an indelible mark on you as a writer, also leaves an existential imprint on you as a person. I’ve heard people say that a writer should never take criticism personally. I say that we should never listen to these people.
Criticism, at its best, is deeply personal, and gets to the heart of why we write the way we do.
Sensible advice about giving (and receiving) criticism.