Today, I’m looking at: how do I deal with criticism, bad reviews, a critical review, bad feedback - all that character-building stuff. I hope my advice below will help you to deal with critical people in a positive way. Here we go.
There’s always going to be someone who doesn’t like your writing. We all have different tastes. That said, a huge part of the writing journey is being read by strangers and dealing with their reactions. You might get any of the following responses:
Positive (“I love your writing!”)
Negative (“you stink as a writer”)
Indifferent (“Oh yeah, someone gave my your book last year. I haven’t read it...”)
I remember a couple of critical reviews I got early on, amidst a tonne of great feedback. It was the tough comments that stood out and eclipsed the: “5FINGERS IS FANTASTIC. I LOVE IT” ones. Eventually, I realised I have a choice. And so do you. So, here’s my advice on dealing with criticism.
1. Pause. Breathe. Give yourself time to choose your reaction.
2. Evaluate. Is the criticism true or false? Did the critic have a bad day? Are they vindictive, jaded or jealous?
3. Learn. Extract the positive from the criticism. What can you learn to make you a stronger writer? Where can you improve?
4. Forgive. Forgive your critic. If you have contact with them, respond kindly. Maybe thank them for being honest. It may take time to really forgive. But it’s worth doing, so you can be free to soar again.
5. Move on. Get your laser focus back and keep going with perseverance and confidence. Run your race. You ARE a good writer, that’s why you’re doing this thing.
And you’re going to be a GREAT writer. JRx
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Joshua Raven, novelist. Read about my writing and my life here. And have you discovered 5fingers yet?