What Does It Mean To Be 100% Supportive To Our Fellow Writers?

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. 


Lada Prkić
Lada Prkić
Lada Prkić is a Civil Engineer and has a lot of professional experience in various fields of Civil Engineering. She works at the University of Split on the capital construction projects at the University Campus and beyond. Besides performing responsible tasks as a Project Manager, and Head of Capital Investment Office, Lada became passionate about blogging. She writes about civil engineering, architecture, geometry, networks on social media, and human relations. Lada lives with her family in Split, Croatia, a beautiful 2,000 years old city on the coast of the Adriatic sea.

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  1. Late to the party – but I told you I hadn’t read all your articles, Lada.

    I see two questions in your post, one related to the use of language/form and another related to content.

    As for language, like you and several other authors on this platform I am writing in a foreign tongue.
    I don’t think most people from the dominant culture, writing in their own language “for fun”, wonder if they use the language well enough – as in not making grammatical errors or using the wrong words. (Sure, most people are not Hemingway, and if they live by their pen, naturally, they wonder if they can up their game.)
    I don’t think many people writing in a foreign language DON’T wonder if they use the language well enough.
    I may well be wrong on both accounts.

    As for content, are we addressing the idea we want to address and do the comments mirror back to us that people picked up our ideas, regardless if they agree with us or not?
    Do our ideas lead to interesting places we hadn’t thought of – as illustrated by Carolyn’s comment.
    Are we engaging the reader?
    This is to me a completely different question.

    Which brings us back to support.
    I would love a direct message on Linkedin if I regularly mangle the English language in ways that can easily be corrected. (Even better, let me know about errors before an article is published.)
    Supporting the content is to engage in the discussion. A step up is to share. I usually forget to share my own BC posts in my own LI post – thank G.. for Dennis.
    But I always wonder if my LI network sees any of these excellent articles, yours and other’s, unless I do a “this is what I read today”. That is why I sometimes tag people in my network outside the BC family – yet another kind of support.

    • I apologize for not responding earlier, Charlotte. I’m grateful that you took the time to read and comment on my articles.
      As for writing in English, I am not a perfectionist, but it’s important to me that I use the language well enough. I think that many who write on social media, both native and non-native speakers are unaware of the fact that what we post online is forever.
      When I write, I don’t translate the text previously written in Croatian. Instead, I force myself to stop translating in my head and start thinking in English. It’s not an easy task at all but it helps me to improve my English skills, along with interacting (comments, messages) with my native English penpals, especially on beBee. English language paradoxes, not to mention idioms and phrases, still drive me crazy. 🙂
      As you noted, support comes in many forms. We can support one another on BC and outside in many different ways. I am not a prolific writer. I write when I am inspired to do it and always hope that my thoughts will provoke readers to comment, regardless of whether they agree with me or not. Seeing an empty comment box is disappointing. But to be honest, with so much content published daily, it is hard to grab the readers’ attention. I’m more than happy with the feedback on my articles, showing that readers pay attention to my words. It means I must be doing something right – at least a catchy title. 🙂

  2. Lada, this is very thought provoking and I agree to learn we must listen to good and bad feedback. You ask us an important question. In the end we must listen to the words that come as no one else knows your heart or your only advice to people is just to write and be inspired by the amazing writers, poets, storytellers and artist on BC 360. Someone once asked me why I wrote. It consumes an amazing amount of time and I assure you it is not going to make me rich. I write so that my children can touch and feel my words telling of the ones that came before us and the stories they told me. These are the chronicles of our family and even though they come from my childhood memories and are deeply rooted in a child’s remembrance at least they may feel what it was like in the time before them and cherish the things the elders left behind.

    • Thanks, Larry. You are so right that writing consumes a large amount of time. That’s why I write rarely. I think that most of us see writing as some kind of legacy we leave behind. Allegedly, what we post online is forever. 🙂 Therefore, growing and improving as a writer is very important for me. For that reason, both good and bad feedback benefit me.

  3. Interesting question.
    Personally, not being a writer, I cannot fully express myself about the expectations of a true writer.
    I limit myself to expressing a personal opinion on some aspects of life and work and I am only able to animate an interesting discussion among readers, which always enriches me.
    I think that if criticism can be useful for the professional growth of a writer, its abuse can undermine self-esteem. Perhaps it is useful to accept criticism but not to give too much importance only to negative feedback, especially if at the same time there are also positive ones. You can’t please everyone. Better to filter out useful comments and ignore all others. After all, you can always find new readers.

    • Glad to see your comment again, Aldo. 🙂
      You and I are not professional writers, or in your words “true” writers, but we are content creators and thus – writers. Through my blog posts (for the last five years), I have expressed opinions on many things. My posts were educative (with topics on geometry and engineering), entertaining, and even a bit ‘provocative’ when writing about social media, online behaviour, and the commenting culture.
      The next step in my growth as a writer was joining the Bizcatalyst community. Commenters of my posts on the Biz site are members of this writing community. In the article, I address them for their feedback.

      Both negative and positive feedback should be objective and specific. When someone wrote, “Great article, thank you for sharing.” but don’t say why the article is actually ‘great,’ I wonder what kind of feedback it is. For me, it is positive but not relevant.
      In life, we learn through failures and mistakes. Hence, we should welcome criticism and deal with it positively, but also being able to differentiate well-intended remarks from those deliberately hurtful.

  4. Ahhh… One of my favorite topics. Compliments and supportive accolades are always welcome for any writer, but I think in many cases the readers are simply polite beyond their objectivity. They often sugarcoat and sidestep the truth. While I do enjoy many articles here and abroad, I don’t always comment or agree on every single post. As writers, we are all gasping for an ounce of recognition, an audience that will validate and respect our viewpoints, but the sad truth is that we are all competing in a vast sea of marginal talent.

    Truth be told, I think we’d all like to earn a living from our craft, more than just a few peanuts on Medium. Unfortunately it’s not likely to happen because the market is so saturated with aspiring writers… most of whom aren’t half as brilliant as they think they are. As soon as we cast our precious words into the deep blue sea of online literature, we immediately line the pockets of whatever host entity is willing to accept our energy. What’s left for us to determine is if we truly made an impact, or if we simply struck a nerve with like-minded souls who are simply being kind.

    Unless we enter the talent pool with influence and credibility already established, we are probably going to fool ourselves into thinking there is some fruitful career waiting on the other side, raw talent be damned. We will be doomed to repeat our efforts as novice hopefuls, constantly churning out engaging content and traffic that other people will unduly benefit from.

    That’s my unbiased, unfiltered, take on this – for better or worse. And believe me… this is not an attack on your work. I enjoy your articles Lada, it’s just a sad reality of online writing. The quality and standards of proper publishing have long-since been vaporized. Anything goes in this lawless online frontier.

    Unless we’re simply in it for fun, which is perfectly fine too, then we are all at the mercy of online platforms that accept any and all levels of talent without exception. With no way of truly measuring the depth and quality of our work, then we will never really know how talented or efficient we really are as content messengers. Until next time my friend… 😉

    • Aaron, one of the reasons I write is to receive comments like yours.
      Through my blogging years, I’ve realised that many bloggers are just addicted to praise. I’ve seen comments full of excessive praise that bordered with worshipping. 🙂 I could never understand that way of support and encouragement. It seems so false to me. But we are all different.
      As for the quality of published content on social media sites, I agree with you. But sites like Medium or WordPress are great for the people like me. I started blogging almost five years ago to improve my written English. Since then, I write only in English. I don’t fantasize that one day I will be a successful writer and make money from it. 🙂 To be one of the Featured Contributors on this platform is a great accomplishment for me.
      I don’t know what would be the real measure of the depth and quality of our writing. I wish there is something like the Mensa intelligence test that could test our talent for writing. Since it doesn’t exist, perhaps the right measure is the number of comments on our articles? Or commenters are just like-minded souls who are simply kind. 🙂

  5. Thank you Lada for sharing your insights.

    Exaggeration in anything will generate its opposite effect. Too much compliments are not different and I agree with you. Excessiveness is harmful and is not a genuine form of support.

    I tried to find a void to fill so as not to sound praising, but failed. All I can say keep the quality of your good writing.

    • Thank you, dear Ali. I’m always glad to see you commenting on my articles. I couldn’t agree more with you. “Excessiveness is harmful and is not a genuine form of support.” Genuine support is not surface-level support. It is not about being critical but being honest for the author’s benefit.

  6. Lada, I agree with Carolyn – your writing is courageous and insightful. When I first read the title, I thought you might be going in a different direction with the content, And that reaffirmed the question for me – what is supportive? Like you, I love the positive feedback. But what I love even more is someone pushing my thinking. I use my writing to think and so content-rich comments mean the world to me.

    I don’t have anything to offer constructively in terms of your writing, as I believe this is the first of your work I have read, but I really like this one. It makes me think because it shows you are thinking. I will be on the lookout for your work going forward.

    • Thank you so much for your comment, Carol. A lot of good content is published on this platform daily, and I’m more than grateful to those who take the time to read and comment on my articles.

      The greatest compliment to my writing is when my words make a reader think about them. Hoping to see you in the comment box of my future articles. 🙂

  7. Lada,
    Love love love your insights!
    Right here is the core meaning for me: “My writing, just like myself, is and always will be a work in progress.”
    We don’t need or want to be judged – just heard. It takes courage and vulnerability to put your heart on paper.

    • Carolyn, thank you for your support!
      You’re right – writers are courageous. I haven’t thought of it that way but putting your honest feelings on screen for everyone to read is indeed an act of courage.