Copywriter, Journalist, and Content Coach

Criticism is Your Friend

Don’t get all riled up if someone finds fault with your writing, your ideas, or your information. You’ll soon figure out which critics are trolls and which are precious collaborators.

Seek It Out

Ask several people to read your article. The best readers will be familiar with your audience or subject, but if you write clearly enough even the uninitiated will be able to understand your story. When you hand it over, say “Tell me what you hate.” This will make them nervous at first, but then they’ll laugh and dig in.

You’ll be amazed at what they discover about your babies—sometimes they’ll completely miss the point, or come to unintended conclusions. They might be confused and ask questions. They might be excited and want to know more, giving you ideas for new articles. They might not understand things you take for granted. And they might be bored by ideas you thought were new.

Good Readers Can Save Your Face

Finally, even if you run Spellcheck, they’ll often find errors, grammatical mistakes, and what I call artifacts of editing—sloppy cut-and-paste, for instance, or repeated segments. Stuff that would be embarrassing if it got out. I’ve said this elsewhere, but it’s worth saying again.