Revising With An Open Door

Apr 7, 2019

Famed novelist Stephen King once wrote about “Writ[ing] with the door closed, rewrite[ing] with the door open.” His message has to do with more than editing and revision. His message is about sharing your work and being able to receive criticism.

Depending on the writer, writing with a “closed door” could mean anything from working in complete solitude or only trusted collaborators. The concept, is still the same. The beginning of the process is protected.

Unless you are writing your personal diary, eventually the time comes to open the door. Whether you write web content or blogs, novels or poetry, the goal is to get the work out in the open, and an open door means criticism.

Between the closed door and the debut of your work, comes the time for revision. A time to open the door to people who can help you grow as a writer.

From The Haters

You knew not everyone would like it, right?

Some people you include in your process will frame their ideas constructively. Others may not. Still, every critique gives you the opportunity to learn more about your audience, your writing and yourself.

Not everyone will embrace your work, but there is still something to gain from every critique. Every person who gives you feedback is a new perspective on how your writing is received. It is an opportunity to learn how to connect with that individual. While that person may not have been part of your intended audience for this piece, he or she might help you think about your audience differently for a future piece.

To The Appreciat-ers

It can be easy to get sucked in by people who love your work. The temptation is to only allow the people who love your work “in” on the revising process. We write for others to enjoy the work, right?

Just like every criticism does not mean that it is time to revise, constant praise does not mean the piece is perfect. There is more to listen to from a positive review than the fact the other person “likes it.” Listen to how your reviewer received your work. Did they pick up on all of your takeaways? Were you able to communicate their level?

Gaining Perspective

The most important information you gain from sharing your work is how others receive it. You can learn about grammar and sentence structure from books and articles. You may feel vulnerable sharing your work (it takes some getting used to), but the person reading your work can give you the one thing you can’t get from anyone else. Perspective.

©2019, Dravallo LLC.

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