There is no doubt that anyone alive could learn something from others. Creative and helpful criticism can be valuable to anyone if done in the right spirit. What is the right spirit? Wanting to help someone learn and succeed! Trying to be uplifting and not just critical. Offering suggestions in a way that is helpful and not judgmental.
Then of course, there are those who criticize in a spirit of meanness. Writers often get criticism that is pretending to be helpful while just being hurtful. Writers do need thick skins. Oh, I know. I am tough and life has made me that way, but I also think if you cannot say something good (or in this case helpful) don’t say anything as parents used to tell their children.
It is true that some folks seem to be growing up weaker than they should be. Even aware of the fact that some minor things should just be shrugged off, but not always.On the other side of the coin we have a lot more bullying that has a very violent or deathly outcome. Getting back to writing, obviously, we need to weigh the damage done with the helpful tips that are much more enlightening. Writing critiques must show the writer a truth they did not know. They must point out a problem in the writer’s thinking or approach. They might remind them of the writing basics that may have been forgotten or just put aside as the writer got caught up in the moment of creation. There should be a solution offered in a friendly way to be of use to the writer.
To just say, I don’t like it or your writing is crap, might keep someone who just needs more time or more practice from reaching their goals. It could discourage a writer from even trying. When you take away hope you have a lot to answer for in this field.
Most writer’s do have a God given talent, but they are still expected to work and learn and keep advancing their skill. Even the most famous of authors when interviewed have admitted they wrote garbage from time to time. They may not have created junk as often as some of us, but they have not been a 100% success every time words were written down either.
Editors may know the important rules and skills needed to write well. They do not always understand the artistic or creative aspect of everything you try to write. They may not even know what you wish to accomplish. Now, help in that area could be invaluable. I’ve read books and seen movies many times that the meaning was not quite clear to me, but I didn’t dismiss it out of hand. I tried to look deeper so I could develop a better understanding of the writer and discover the truths he has found that I have yet to discover.
It would be so great to actually have a editor have the time to ask me questions about what you are trying to do. Asking what you are trying to say and showing you a better way to say it is really more helpful than inferring it does not make any sense.To them it may not, to you it may be an amazing truth and an ah ha moment.
My personal opinion is that great would- be -writers may be thwarted and stymied by well-meaning editors. They surely will be less hopeful and less motivated by mean or destructive criticism.
What is your opinion of this topic?