Advice on dealing with criticism of your writing? I write, my supervisor rewrites it, then her supervisor rewrites that. By the time it gets back to me, I just want to go with what the last person came up with because it's so much better than what I wrote, and I'm so weary of the repeated exercise. The process is taking the joy out of writing and negatively affects how I feel about the writing I do outside of work for mere enjoyment.

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When I was a full-time content writer, people editing and picking apart my work bothered me at first and made me feel inadequate.

Then I realized how much I could learn from these people who were much more experienced than me, and it made me a better writer.

Now, I don’t write as often… but when I do, I am so appreciative when someone takes the time to line edit my work. I actively seek out constructive criticism and guidance so I can grow.

Bottom line: Great editors are sooo hard to find! Take it as an opportunity to learn and grow :)

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Thank you for taking the time to respond. This is helpful.

You’ll have to learn to separate work from your passion projects/ the writing you do for yourself. At work you are being paid to write and be creative for someone else. Try to look at the whole thing as what it is…just a business transaction. The feedback and editing process is just a part of this line of work so don’t take it personally. It’s like telling a mechanic you want to use a different brand of alternator than they suggested — that’s it.

One thing you can do to make it easier on yourself is analyze the difference between your writing style/content vs what your supervisor does. You can then align to what they’re doing … or develop valid reasons to fight back on any feedback you think they got wrong. Not much else you can do until you become the boss.

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Appreciate your suggestions and perspective. Thank you!

A supervised supervisor is supervising your copy, which you have written as a supervisor. Lord, that’s some red tape!

I would say to hang in there, observe/study/learn/adapt and such, but if it’s been toxic for a while you might consider jumping ship.

Don’t let them get you down. You’re gonna get it figured out sooner or later and better things are ahead. Promise.

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Thank you. I needed to hear that!

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What I don’t see stated here is that you learned the why’s behind the changes so you could employ those strategies to improve your copy and require less editing

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Good point. Taking that in. And thank you.

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Joy in the process is important to me, so I choose projects that align with this. I allow minor edits to align with the client’s values and brand. And when I’m writing for someone trained in conversion focused copy, I’ll get into the why behind things with them and co create that in a deeper way.

So to answer your question, I’d articulate my needs and try to create a win-win process and if they didn’t respond well to it or at all, this just isn’t a space I would stay in.

I am also curious about how you say it ends up so much better. In that case, maybe you would try to learn from them and heal any vulnerabilities that are coming up for you with that.

In my case, I usually have people trying to ‘play a copywriter on tv’ who don’t know what they’re doing and making things worse.

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Thank you. That's an interesting way to look at it. Appreciate the perspective.

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Don’t let it kill your confidence!! They’re your superiors. They’re supposed to be better than you. They’ve been writing longer than you, they’ve worked with the client longer than you, and they’ve been doing the job longer than you. They’re stuff should be better!! If it wasn’t that way, you should probably switch agencies. You wouldn’t learn anything!! (Plus, if your superior is rewriting it and their superior is rewriting the rewrites, don’t feel so bad. Your superior’s isn’t nailing it either).

Maybe after your next assignment, pull up one they rewrote and compare. Try to make the changes before they do. I used to be really bad at writing :15 ads. I was always over time and my favorite parts got cut. Then I started typing out my favorite:15 spots. After I finished what I thought was a great :15 ad, I’d pull up the ones I loved and compared. The visual side by side *really* helped me see how wordy I was and how long my sentences were compared to the spots that worked. It may help you too!

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Thank you for the suggestion. I'll definitely give that a try.

I have this issue at work too but the people critiquing my writing are not writers. I get critiques from the acrm team, the media team, strategy, but never a more skilled creative and that’s frustrating. I feel like they’re not qualified to critique my writing. For reference, I’m the only copywriter on staff and we don’t have a creative director at my agency.

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