Don’t Listen to the Critics!

Question of the Week: 

What is the difference between a critic and a critique?

criticI had an interesting side discussion during a presentation I gave recently about the critic versus a critique and why one is better than the other.

Let’s start by defining the difference according to Webster:

A critic is a person who expresses an opinion of something; more often than not, the opinion is unfavorable or negative.

A critique is a detailed analysis and assessment of something literary, philosophical or political in nature.

Our discussion started because I was talking about the inner critic and others who only criticize our work.

I believe that we need to disregard most of the criticism we receive about what we are doing because often, criticism that comes in the form of derogatory remarks like, “You’ll never make it,” or “People will never read your book,” are generally made more because of the critic’s baggage than the quality of your work.

This criticism from a true critic–one who has nothing positive to say–can stop a writer in his tracks making him doubt all the blood, sweat and tears he has poured into his work.

A critic is not an asset.

A critique however, is valuable.

The inherent difference between a critic and a critique is that the critique analyses the work as a whole, where a critic usually just looks for that which is unfavorable.

I always encourage my authors–any author–to join a critique group or pay for a critique of their work.

A critique analyses the writing, noting where things are good and also where the writing can be improved. This is helpful.

So I encourage you to stop listening to the critics in your life–especially if you are your own worst critic!

Instead, join a critique group full of talented writers who aren’t afraid to tell you where you’ve done well and suggest how you can improve!

Question: What is the worst thing a critic has ever said to you? And how did you overcome that? Answer below!

Photo Credit: artur84