How Do You Know If Your Writing Is Good Enough?

by Suzannah Windsor Freeman

Woman hugging herselfW

It’s one of the most common questions we writers ask ourselves:

Am I good enough?

It all depends on your own definition of “good enough.” Good enough to write an enjoyable story? Good enough publish a book?

While there’s no real way to know for sure if your writing is publishable-quality before you’re offered a contract, you can ease some of those am-I-good-enough? jitters by getting honest feedback on your polished writing.

For some people, this is a major dilemma. You think you might be on the right track, but the thought of sharing something so intimate is terrifying.

It’s difficult to judge your own writing objectively. Maybe you tend to think your writing is worse than it really is. Maybe you tend to think it’s better than it really is.

What if you could share a piece of your writing with a close-knit, trusted community of other writers, and perhaps even do it anonymously? What if you could get objective, non-biased constructive criticism without anyone ever knowing who you are?

Want a Peer-Critique of Your Writing?

I’d like to get your opinion on something I want to trial here at Write It Sideways–a (weekly/bimonthly?) service of sorts, which would be to everyone’s advantage.

Let’s say we were to have an open call for short pieces of writing (flash fiction, novel excerpts, creative non-fiction, etc.). The writers would remain anonymous and we, the readers, would give the writer feedback.

The writer would benefit by receiving peer critiques, and the rest of the community would get tips on how to improve their own writing.

We would have strict guidelines as to how this would work:

  • Submissions would be approximately 500 words long.
  • Feedback would need to be given in a positive manner, and with the intention of helping the writer improve.
  • Any inappropriate or deliberately hurtful criticism would be deleted.
  • Excerpts would need to be appropriate for all audiences.
  • Writers would need to understand I can’t guarantee everyone the same amount/type of feedback. Some commenters might give general encouragement, while others might give detailed critiques.

Does this sound like something you’d be interested in doing? Do you think it would be beneficial for both those submitting and those critiquing? What suggestions do you have for making the feature run smoothly?

Please leave a comment to let me know what you think, and any further ideas you have. I’ll consider all opinions and get back to you next week with the particulars.

Thanks!

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