Many welcoming comments to new writers emphasize that BIZCATALYST 360° is a 100% supportive group of professionals. The term ‘100% supportive’ made me think about our writing community. This question popped up in my mind,
What does it mean to be supportive 100% to our fellow writers?
Although receiving sincere compliments on my writings means the world to me, getting feedback that is impartial and helpful is what I truly appreciate. I am not a professional writer. I still learn about writing by reading great articles and sharing my thoughts with amazing people on this platform. For the further improvement of my writing skills, I rely upon fellow writers for their candid feedback.
To be supportive is not the same as giving praise. If praise makes us believe that we are better than we truly are, we will not grow as writers.
It is not easy to hear that we are not as good as we think and that our work needs improvement, but it is a necessary part of writing.
My blogging years taught me that most people are not comfortable with giving honest feedback but also do not welcome constructive feedback on their writing. As for the former, I could include myself on that list. This proverb often came to my mind while writing a comment on someone’s article,
The road to hell is paved with good intentions.
Instead of being helpful, honest feedback can be sometimes counterproductive and cause a loss of self-confidence despite good intentions. Writing feedback that is objective, actionable, but not discouraging is an art in itself and a skill we all need to learn and nurture.
There is no doubt that our community is supportive. Being a member of such a distinguished publishing platform is way beyond my expectations as someone who just wants to “spread my wings and create,” as Dennis beautifully wrote when explaining who are “the folks that do all the magic.” I am still thrilled to be one of the Featured Contributors.
Our goal as a community is to respect, emphasize, and support fellow writers without judgment.
Both praise and criticism are subjective judgments. Specific constructive feedback is not. It is about helping fellow writers to see and resolve potential weaknesses in their writing. Effective feedback should inspire and suggest improvements.
To be 100% supportive to our fellow writers means to let them know why we like and enjoy their piece or writing style, but also to give them honest, objective, and specific feedback. I am just someone who loves to write and still develop my creative voice. Objective feedback is what I need, but also, I am experienced enough that honest criticism won’t put me off writing. Even ‘painful’ feedback can be helpful if you put your ego aside.
Don’t get me wrong, compliments and praise are tremendously motivating, and we all need a little lift from time to time. To quote Anne Bradstreet, an American poet,
Sweet words are like honey, a little may refresh, but too much gluts the stomach.
I am grateful for your thoughts and insights about my writing. Engaging with my audience and fellow writers is the foundation of the entire writing experience.
My writing, just like myself, is and always will be a work in progress.