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Keila’s Korner

For Conscientious Creators: Constructive Suggestion.

By Proud ViM ProductionsPublished about a month ago Updated about a month ago 3 min read
Top Story - April 2024
25

A Bi-weekly article for Proud ViM Productions:

I apologize for skipping out on having a “Korner” last Saturday – Real Life and Taxes got in the way of Procrastination. But good news-you’ll get to see me two weeks in a row!

As writers and authors, we need to be open to feedback from our readers, both positive and negative, in order to learn and grow. We need feedback in order to determine how to best connect with our readers, and how to best get our points across. It’s always nice to hear the good things, but sometimes we need to address the not-so-good things, too.

I think simple terminology can have an effect as to how open we are to accepting communications from our readers.

I found the term “constructive suggestion” in a book titled Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, which has nothing to do with writing, but I found it suitable to writing, and much more palatable than the words “constructive criticism.”

This may all just be semantics, but it changes our author mindset.

As writers and (mostly) humans, we are sensitive to the idea that someone may have a disparaging idea about our work, and we get defensive. The word “criticism” in any regard tends to trigger that feeling, even when well-intended and termed “constructive.”

The term “suggestion” comes across as “softer,” leading to more open-mindedness for listening as an author. It doesn’t inspire us to immediately become defensive and shut-down, as readily as the harshness of a criticism.

As always, it’s up to you, as the writer, to decide whose “suggestions” of your work are valuable to you, and what’s worth considering; although, for growth and improvement as an artist, it’s always worth being open-minded. You are never obligated to take a suggestion, but you may want to contemplate the possibility.

A “suggestion” may make that a little bit easier for your brain to comprehend and consider than the word “criticism,” and it’s negative connotations, which may cause you to completely shut-down without even taking a moment to understand where it’s coming from.

The following is an excerpt from an article I wrote awhile back regarding giving and accepting feedback on writing – and I think much of it is relevant to the message in this article. A link to the entire piece is provided below.

1. Don’t take it Personally

As an author, if you are brave enough to put your work “out there,” you’re going to get unsolicited criticism. Some people will like your work, some will not and some will be quite vocal about it either way. It’s up to you to decide whether or not their opinions mean anything to you.

2. It’s your Choice

As the writer, it’s always your choice to accept the given advice for changing your story or not. Does it make sense to you? Maybe it’s something to keep in mind for future work. Is the advice completely irrelevant? Discard it. You’re the author. It’s up to you.

3. Be Gracious

Especially when you, as the writer, ask for feedback. you’re obligated to consider it, but not obligated to accept it, of course. Instead of getting defensive or snide, maybe look at your work from a different perspective, take the time to decide the relevance of the critique to you, then thank the reader for giving you their own time and contemplation.

Here’s the complete article, if you’d like to read it – it addresses both giving and receiving feedback to writers:

Thank you so much for reading this piece! I hope you found it informative. Tell me, in the comments, would you, as a writer, be more open to the concept of “constructive suggestion” over “constructive criticism?”

Next time, let’s talk about originality.

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About the Creator

Proud ViM Productions

Alone, we are letters floating in the wind. Combined, we are an Opus. We hold community in our core, "We all rise when we lift each other up"

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Comments (20)

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  • Charlie williams27 days ago

    You story is really nice ,keep it coming please

  • Flamance @ lit.27 days ago

    The story is dope I like it

  • Christy Munson28 days ago

    Great advice and congratulations on Top Story!

  • Heather Hubler28 days ago

    I genuinely appreciate your articles and the care with which you put them together. Easy to read, not too long as to lose attention (which mine just seems to be getting worse anymore), and thoughtful. I really like the term 'suggestion' instead of 'criticism'. It really does feel a bit more gentle. Congrats on TS!

  • Mariann Carroll28 days ago

    👍🏽👍🏽Congrats yet another Top Story topic !!! 👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽

  • Excellent useful article

  • angela hepworth29 days ago

    Congrats on Top Story!

  • D. D. Lee29 days ago

    I like “constructive suggestion” Great job on Top Story.

  • Back to say congratulations on your Top Story! 🎉💖🎊🎉💖🎊

  • Thavien Yliaster29 days ago

    As Joseph Joestar would say, "Nice."

  • Rachel Deeming29 days ago

    Great advice here, Keila.

  • I'm a simple man: I see an article series with a name that takes inspiration from 90's nu metal band Korn, I give it a ❤️

  • Paul Stewart29 days ago

    As ever, Keila...you say things that are important, not always "nice" in the most obvious sense...but that need to be said, but do it with such a deft and gentle touch, without sugarcoating! Congrats on Top Story - it's deserved!

  • This is such a great reminder! Congrats on your top story

  • Anna 29 days ago

    Congrats on Top Story!🥳🥳🥳

  • Cathy holmes29 days ago

    Congrats on the TS.

  • Dharrsheena Raja Segarranabout a month ago

    Suggestion definitely sounds better than criticism! Also, regardless of unsolicited criticism, I'm gonna keep doing what I like. Unless it's a mistake that needs to be corrected, I always discard criticism hehehe

  • Cathy holmesabout a month ago

    Yes. "Suggestion" is a much better term than criticism. I agree. Great article.

  • Shirley Belkabout a month ago

    A suggestion implies permission as a criticism, does not. It's softer and nicer. i like that.

  • Judey Kalchik about a month ago

    This is a true and useful reminder!

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