Friday, November 26, 2021

Five Reasons to Be Thankful for a Writing Critique

by Lori Hatcher @LoriHatcher2

I’ve been a Word Weavers International member for almost seven years, but I still hold my breath when my turn comes around to be critiqued. Will they like it or hate it? Have I made a grave theological error that could cause someone to be spiritually confused or did I explain the Bible clearly? Will they get my humor, or will it fall flat?

Because I want to produce writing that engages the heart, mind, and spirit, I continue to subject myself to the exquisite torture of critique. 

If this is your goal, let’s consider five reasons to be thankful for critique

1. Critique gives us outside-our-head perspective. 
My critique group contains a delightful assortment of ages, genders, professions, and spiritual backgrounds. When they read my piece, they filter it through their unique perspective and offer insight. They help me see how my writing might be received by readers who are different from me. I’m forever grateful for my unmarried friends who remind me, “Don’t forget the singles.” They help me broaden scope and application of my articles and devotions beyond my married woman-with-children perspective.

2. Critique helps us benefit from someone else’s knowledge.
Members of my critique group have taught me when to place a period in a list and how to use dialogue to move the action along. I’ve learned how to use batching (look it up), the Pomodoro technique, and an online rhyming dictionary. I’ve also learned cool facts about horses, German Christmas traditions, and third person POV. I come away from every meeting with at least one new fact or hack to enhance my writing.

3. Critique helps us grow professionally and personally.
When a critique group or partner shares ideas on how to make our work better, we have two choices. We can feel hurt and offended that they’d dare suggest our writing isn’t perfect, or we can welcome their insight and consider their thoughts. Sometimes their ideas are off base, but often they’re spot on. If we allow insecurity to prevent us from considering their perspective, we hinder our personal and professional growth. The ability to give and receive negative critique is a major steppingstone to becoming a writer.

4. Critique can teach us humility.
1 Peter 5:5 reminds us, “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” When we pridefully reject honest and well-meaning critique, we leave God no choice but to resist us. Oh my. Isn’t this a terrifying thought? When we accept and respect others’ opinions, whether we agree with them or not, we position ourselves to receive God’s grace. Who couldn’t use a little more of God’s grace?

5. Critique spurs us on.
I don’t know how often I’ve come to a meeting discouraged and doubtful. Is my writing helpful or am I just wasting my time? Am I writing better or making the same mistakes over and over again? Thankfully, my critique partners have a much better perspective on my writing than I do. They notice that I’ve learned to apply fiction techniques to my prose, eliminate unnecessary adverbs, and write tight(er). And when they laugh in all the right places? It’s like saying, “Sick ‘em” to a dog. I can write for months inspired by a genuine, well-phrased compliment.

If you’re unsure about the value of a critique partner or group, I hope I’ve convinced you. Do you have a critique group or partner? Be thankful. If you don’t, visit Word Weavers International and take the first step toward critique.

Happy Thanksgiving!


Lori Hatcher loves God even more than she loves chocolate—and that’s a lot. Since He saved her at age 18, she’s been on a quest to know and love Him more. Her deepest desire is for others to join her on the journey. As an author, blogger, writing instructor, women’s ministry speaker, and career dental hygienist, she writes for Our Daily Bread, Guideposts, Revive Our Hearts, and She’s written three devotional books, including Refresh Your Faith, Uncommon Devotions from Every Book of the Bible, and Hungry for God…Starving for Time, Five-Minute Devotions for Busy Women. Her latest book, Refresh Your Prayers, Uncommon Devotions to Restore Power and Praise releases March 1, 2022. Connect with her at or on Facebook, Twitter (@lorihatcher2) or Pinterest (Hungry for God).


  1. Well said author; and while the critique is in the middle, I have nothing. Love your phraseology of "the exquisite torture of critique." It so well describes that uncomfortable part of writing we all know we have to go through to ensure we put our best possible work out there. I describe as being squeezed through a keyhole. While #3 comes very close to my reason for subjecting myself to critique, I recognize that all of them combine to achieve the goal of making us better writers. All we have to do is let God work through the process. Discernment is key also I think; learning what to accept and apply and what to discard graciously.

    1. Well said, J.D. it’s important to remember that critique, for the most part, is subjective. We eat the fish and spit out the bones :)

  2. Thank you for your excellent post, Lori. I was reminded of Proverbs 11: 14: "Where there is no counsel, the people fall; But in the multitude of counselors there is safety."

    I am so thankful for critique partners who speak truth into my writing and into my life.

    1. They are truly a gift, MaryAnn. I’m so grateful for kind and wise counselors who come alongside me to make my writing better.

  3. I'm so grateful for my crit partners. We've been together for nearly 16 years, and I trust them implicitly. Their counsel makes me a better writer.

  4. I'm so thankful for my Word Weavers IA Chapter. I have learned great things from them. I learned from your article this morning, too. Thank you for sharing your excellent words.

  5. Word Weavers helped me find my one-on-one critique partner, who is an invaluable part of my writing life. Not to mention what a delight it is to have a tribe of godly, committed writers in my life. WW rocks!