A Writer's Best Friend

Who is a writer's best friend? His pen and notebook? Her inspirational posters and comics? His cat, as she sleeps on his lap while he taps away at the keyboard? Her friends, who say everything she writes is perfect?

No, none of these. Truly, a critic is a writer's best friend. There are plenty of people who will tell you your work is good, for any number of reasons:

Praise is a very positive influence on a writer, and praise helps motivate you later on, when you're struggling to come up with your next writing idea. Praise can be very easy to find--a friend can review your work and tell you what pieces were her favorite, and the answer may very well be the always safe, "I liked it all."

Critics, on the other hand, pull apart your masterpiece, looking for holes. This is a very destructive process, and it can be painful to see your own work placed in a negative light.

Why, then, do I say that critics are a writer's best friend?

While everyone enjoys praise for their work, it is more useful to hear the criticism. Put simply, you learn more from being wrong than from being right. Use criticism as an opportunity to grow.

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