Know yourself. Do you get hurt when teachers and friends make the slightest constructive criticism? Or do you want tons of advice on your writing? Being aware of how you handle feedback will make you an active thinker and writer. Try these ideas to help you get the most from the process.

1. Communicate with friends who read your work about what kind of feedback you want. For example, if you only want help with sound and flow, let them know.

2. Ask more than one friend to look at your work. Then you'll have more than one set of opinions to consider.

3. Don't tell a friend what a piece is about or the meaning behind your work. Let her read the piece herself and tell you what it means to her. That way you'll know what's being conveyed to someone else.

4. If you disagree with an opinion, ask someone else.

5. Once you've incorporated any suggested changes, read your piece aloud multiple times. How do the changes sound to you?

6. You're the author. You have the final word. You have a responsibility to carefully consider feedback offered, but you can take it or leave it.

7. Thank your reviewer and offer to look at her work!