Author Elizabeth Gilbert shares her four criteria for determining who to trust. As a writer, Gilbert often seeks feedback. Experience from friends who are 'brutally honest' has taught Gilbert to be selective before seeking criticism.
See, despite my friend's prediction, I did eventually start making a living as a writer. Putting my work into the world meant I had to learn how to take criticism. But I slowly realized that I didn't have to take it from everybody. I learned, over time, how to seek out the type of readers who would actually serve my writing. I came up with four questions to help me decide who got to read my work when it was in its most vulnerable stages:
- Do I trust this person's taste and judgment?
- Does this person understand what I'm trying to create here?
- Does this person genuinely want me to succeed?
- Is this person capable of delivering the truth to me in a sensitive and compassionate manner?
Before Gilbert lets someone read her stories, she must answer yes to all four questions.
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