[The following is only a glimpse of the topic … not a transcription]
As a coach, editor, workshop leader, and writing instructor, I’ve given a lot of feedback to writers at all levels.
For several years I taught composition and creative writing to high school students. Working with students reminded me to deal tenderly with developing writers. Encourage them. Gently help them grow. Affirm in as many ways as possible. Because it’s so easy as a teacher to focus on correction and minimize affirmation but I learned I got far better results when I showed them what worked well in any given project. If I focused too much on what needed revision, they grew discouraged. So I tried to affirm, affirm, affirm.
I’ve also worked with adult writers for over 20 years, giving input on their work, and I have come to realize adults can be as tender as teens. Writers producing any kind of writing—from a poem or personal narrative to a comedy sketch or brochure—they all need affirmation. Writers at every stage and every age need tons of affirmation to build confidence that they’re on the right track.
Writers do need to develop thick skin to withstand the red pen and rejections we’ll get along this writing journey, and we must not mislead or lie about someone’s work; however, along the way, writers need to know what aspect of their writing is going well and what their strengths are.
We can be a voice of health and life and energy to another writer.
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— annkroeker (@annkroeker) September 9, 2015