How to Tell If Your Writing Has Value

February 9, 2017. Answering a question on quora.com: How Can You Value Your Writings?

I’m assuming you have written something, and are now questioning if what you have written has value?

First of all, does it have value to you? Are you proud of what you have written? It’s not always easy to answer this question, but I think time adds some perspective. Lay your work aside for a month or so until the immediate battles of subject-verb agreement, punctuating dialog, and all the rest have faded away. Reread what you have written. If you are like me, you will find innumerable flaws and errors. But beyond that, is ask yourself if what you wrote is worth reading? Does it impress you? If the answer is yes, you’ve answered the question. Savor the moment.

But does your writing have value for others? First ask, “Who am I writing for?” Someone who reads nothing but non-fiction works will have little patience with my fantasy adventures. I don’t even bother to ask their opinion. However, I have friends who do enjoy that genre. I’ve asked them to read some of my rough drafts, and I really value their comments. When you seek validation, be sure to ask people in your target audience.

And be careful not to take constructive criticism the wrong way. If someone questions a character’s motivation, it is probably because you have not been clear enough in describing what is happening. They like your writing and want to make it better. Constructive criticism is not a judgment that your writing is worthless.

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