One of the things that happens as a writer is you are subject to other people’s comments and opinions. Those opinions can either be positive or negative, constructive or destructive. Unfortunately, if you write, blog or guest post, there is no way around it.
However, I’ve discovered there is a significant difference between criticizing and critiquing.
I came across the following definition which I found helpful:
The Difference between Critique and Criticism
- Criticism finds fault/Critique looks at structure
- Criticism looks for what’s lacking/Critique finds what’s working
- Criticism condemns what it doesn’t understand/Critique asks for clarification
- Criticism is spoken with a cruel wit and sarcastic tongue/Critique’s voice is kind, honest, and objective
- Criticism is negative/Critique is positive (even about what isn’t working)
- Criticism is vague and general/Critique is concrete and specific
- Criticism has no sense of humor/Critique insists on laughter, too
- Criticism looks for flaws in the writer as well as the writing/Critique addresses only what is on the page
I have experienced both. Thankfully, the critiques I have received have been helpful whereas criticism has had the opposite effect.
The Bible teaches us about proper communication. For instance, in Colossians 4:6, it states that our speech should be full of grace and seasoned with salt.
As godly writers, we should implement this practice and our faith should be apparent in everything we say and do.
Critiquing is positive and constructive while criticizing is negative and counterproductive. We must be thoughtful in our approach in critiquing others. We must be mindful of the spirit behind what we say as well as how we say it.
We all have opinions, but we must be careful and responsible in how we communicate it to others. Are we communicating in a meekness, gentleness and love? Or are we being harsh, critical or judgmental? Is our critique helpful or hurtful?
If you are a beginner or novice at writing, I believe it’s important to know the difference between someone critiquing your work versus someone criticizing it.
I am grateful to God to be learning the difference early on in my writing career.
QUESTION: Did you know the difference between critiquing or criticism? Has anyone ever criticized your writing instead of critiquing it? If so, how did you handle it?