Turning Elitist Criticism Into Better Writing

When you are just beginning as a serious blogger and writer, criticism can hurt more than it should. This post is your wake up call to use this criticism to your advantage.

You’ve spent all week working on an interesting and informative blog post, and the first comment you get is about a small spelling mistake you’ve made in the third paragraph.

“Um, I think you’ll find it’s you..apostrophe r e” and other pedantic critique can be heartbreaking to someone who is looking to start writing. However it can be turned into a positive if the advice, however badly delivered, is used to improve the experience.

All criticism can be taken as constructive. If someone has pointed out the overuse of apostrophes, or the length of a sentence, it can trigger a sudden panic. Step back from the emotion of the comment (most likely dripping in sarcasm and written by someone without a user photo) and look purely at the logic.

Go in to your post and fix your spelling mistakes, your grammar, your flow. Mistakes are difficult to spot in your own writing, as you have looked at it so many times prior.

As you get more publicity and start to promote your blog more, you will find this kind of criticism will increase.

The people who comment like this can’t seem to do it in a friendly or straight to the point way, but will instead practically ‘scold’ you on why everything you wrote is wrong.

However, these trolls are not themselves trained authors or writers, they have no authority or credibility, and they can often intimidate people into stopping something that they love to do. Don’t let them! You will never improve as a writer (or blogger, artist, anything else that involves you putting yourself up for criticism on the internet) if you take it to heart.

Here’s a starting point on how to respond to different types of criticism.
First up: NEVER ACTUALLY RESPOND. Your response will make you look more silly than the original commenter.

They are trying to bait you, if you respond, they win. The lack of response will also make you look better. Just let the person say their piece. However, if it is unnecessarily attacking, offensive or frightening, just delete it, block the user, and move on. There’s no need for that kind of negativity, and it can intimidate other readers of your blog.

Some examples of negative criticism are:

“How did this person even get a job?” Leave it. Reassure yourself you are where you need to be. This person would love to have the courage to do what you do.
“Um this point, this point and this point are wrong” Fact check. If you’re 100% sure, leave the post as is, but if not, set it to private while you make doubly sure you’re correct, and fix it if you aren’t. We all make mistakes.
“Haha love it how they mixed up there and their Fix it, but leave the comment. Grammar and spelling critique in the 21st century is starting to get old and we all know it. This person will just look like a pedantic Penny.

If one negative comment starts a wave of similar attacking comments, delete the whole thread and disable comments on the post. It’s your blog, it’s your content. You don’t have to apologise for stopping people mouthing off on your space.

Language and its use changes so fluidly. There is a difference between spoken and written language. However, in the modern era, written content in a spoken, natural style tends to attract more viewers. With this style, you will attract more grammar and spelling criticism from keyboard experts. It’s a balance.

The good thing is they’ve sat through your post already. You’ve got their view and a comment, they’re actually helping you. It’s best not to reply or to tell them this, as it simply rewards them for unnecessary slander. Secretly enjoy a grammar trolls services.

Once you’re blogging and writing regularly, taking criticism as a way to grow is the best way to develop a thick skin. They are not criticising you, they don’t know you, they’re criticising the work.

Separating yourself from your work is essential. These commenters are simply trying to look big on the internet. They won’t stop and as the internet grows and grows they will almost certainly increase. When you first start, criticism will sting a bit, but after a while it’ll take seconds to get over it. This will help you in business too, because keeping a poker face and handling adversity is something you’ll already be experienced in.

Chances are you’ll probably get 10 times more positive feedback than negative, but unfortunately it is the negative that sticks with us.

Remember: The best thing you can do is keep writing

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Annelise says:

    This is so spot on! Love it!


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