One of the best things about FaithWriters is the opportunity to receive feedback on your writing, whether in the General Articles (for all members), or in the Critique Circle and Challenge (for Gold and Platinum members).
Many members will very quickly admit how much they love to see those little golden boxes of feedback at the bottom of one of their articles or Challenge entries. It means so much to get a word of encouragement, or even a little bit of input as to how they could make their work better.
You don't need to be an expert to know if you enjoyed something or not. So even if you are the newest of beginners, you can still give a personal opinion from a reader's point of view. If you enjoyed something, let the author know you did. You will make their day. If you didn't understand something, then you should feel free to let the author know that you didn't quite get it. If you are polite and kind with your comments, the author will benefit from your honesty.
There is also a side benefit for reading every article with a critiquing eye. Every writer must be an avid reader. One of the fastest ways to grow as a writer is to read lots of other people's work, and FaithWriters is a brilliant place to do that.
So as you read, whether in the General Articles or in the Challenge, always be asking yourself why something did or didn't work. Did the beginning catch your attention? Did it seem to get a bit rambly after a few paragraphs.? Did you feel let down by the ending? Was it a little hard to get the point? Did the author use a lot of sayings that were old and tired (heard a thousand times before)?
Writing is a very eclectic thing. We learn from one another -- through the very best and through the mistakes.
So don't let insecurity hold you back. Read lots and lots of General Articles and Challenge entries, and as you leave feedback, you will receive back as much as you give--maybe not in feedback on your articles, but in ever-growing knowledge and understanding.
To help members develop their critiquing skills, we are now offering a sample of the Judging Rating Sheet (either Excel or Open Office format only) to active Challenge members. If used when reading entries, this sheet will help members pinpoint why something works or doesn't work--simply by rating each entry based on the eight rating categories. If you would like a copy of the rating sheet to use in this way, please send me a private message.