Being a writer can be a very fulfilling job. But it can also be quite difficult, because being a writer means that your work will always be under the constant scrutiny of readers and fellow writers alike. But this is something that all writers have to deal with.
From beginner writers to veteran bestselling authors, criticism is still a constant part of their lives. What’s important is that you know how to handle criticism and move forward.
Here are 5 tips on how to deal with negative criticism of your writing:
- Decide on whether the criticism is valid or not
Whether you are writing a book or releasing a short story, there is always a chance that you will get criticized for your work. And it is always a good policy to try to learn from these critics. But there are also types of criticism that are just mean spirited and should not be given any attention.
So should your work receive any criticism, you should try to be more discerning and know which criticism is constructive, and which one is not worth listening to.
- Don’t take it personally
Criticism can be a very touchy issue for most writers. This is because the writing process can be a very revealing process for most writers. When writers create new work, they usually bare themselves to the world.
Through their work, they show the world their thoughts, skills and perceptions on life. In short, they are at their most vulnerable. Which is why some writers feel slighted or angry whenever their work gets criticized.
They feel that the criticism is aimed at them personally. But in truth, taking criticism personally is not a good idea, because it can lead you to do something unwise like replying to bad reviews or lashing out at your critics. Instead, it is always a better policy if you look at criticism in a detached and less emotional state.
- Talk to a fellow writer about it
One of the sad things about being a writer, is the fact that it can get lonely. This is because not everyone knows how challenging it is to be a writer. Very few know how harsh critics can be, and not many know how painful criticism can be.
But you don’t have to do things all by yourself. Why not reach out to fellow writers and share your thoughts and frustrations? By reaching out to fellow writers you will have an audience that can truly empathize with you.
Your fellow writers can also give you good advice on how to effectively handle harsh criticism.
- Read your past works
One of the worst things about harsh criticism is the fact that it can totally damage your confidence as a writer. Which is why it is important that you know how to reinvigorate your passion for writing. One way to do this is to read your past works and take note of your progress as a writer.
Look at your past works and see how you improved through the years. You can also look at the positive reviews of your work and remind yourself, that despite the negative criticism you are still a very competent writer.
- Try to learn from the criticism but don’t let it rule you
Having your work criticized can be a harsh and painful experience. But if you can learn from them and implement these lessons into your work, then you will surely improve as a writer. So you should always remember to take cues from your critics.
But you should never let the critics shape who you are as a writer. Your writing style is your own and you should always stay loyal to your own sense of creativity. Don’t be afraid to go against what’s conventional.
All in all, you should learn from the criticism, but never let the fear of criticism stop you from trying to achieve great things.