When you put your writing out into the great wild world, you’re be guaranteed to get criticism. If you’re lucky it will be constructive, advice that can help you improve and grow as a writer. But chances are some of it won’t be. No-one’s writing is ever universally liked or without the potential to offend, just as no-ones writing is perfect. But even though it comes with the territory, having your writing criticised feels crap. No-one likes to be told they’re wrong especially when it’s something they’ve put their heart and soul into creating. So how do you deal with it? Here are four suggestions to cope when your writing gets criticised
1) Learn from it
This is often the best way to cope with criticism and it doesn’t mean what you’ve written is completely rubbish. But even with a ton of editing, Beta reading, and proofreading, you won’t have written the perfect book. Feedback can help you grow as a writer. It helps if it’s delivered in a “constructive” fashion, but sometimes we have to try and see the value from blunter comments. Outright offensive commentators, however, can go fudge themselves.
2) Remember, it’s an opinion not fact
Professional critics (usually) explain the reasoning behind their thoughts about a creative piece. They highlight connections with other works, with history, culture etc. But at the end of the day, their take on any piece of work is still their fundamentally their opinion not fact. The same goes for all critiques. People can argue all they like about “taste” but art of any kind is usually subjective. The caveat to this advice is that if a lot of people highlight the same thing about your work they weren’t keen on, it’s probably something you want to look into.
3) Remember about what you’ve achieved
See that book there? That collection of poems? That short story you got into an anthology? You did that. You wrote it and put it out there. Plenty of people talk the talk, but few walk the walk. You put in the time and effort, you wrote the story you had burning inside you. So rather than get fixated on the fact not everyone likes your writing, allow yourself time to be proud of the fact you wrote it. And that you shared it with others which takes a shed load of guts. So well done.
4) Work on something else
If you haven’t already started to write something else, now is the time. Move on from the criticism of your current work and start something new. If you have had any valid feedback, then use it. Be proactive and productive – you’ll be surprised how it can lift your mood.
So what do you think? Do you have any advice on dealing with criticism? Please share your thoughts in the comments!