Dealing With Criticism
It is one of the hardest things a writer, or anyone else for that matter, can deal with.
It can be damaging to a writer's ego, and suck the joy right out one's writing.
I am referring to criticism.
"Everybody is a critic!" according to the old saying. It is absolutely true. Everybody, whether they are trying to be or not are quick to judge.
The trick is to learn how to take that criticism and what to do with it.
Several years ago, I took a children's writing course. My instructor's name was Susan. She was an accomplished author, editor and teacher and she knew her stuff. In her introductory letter to me, she seemed friendly and fair, which I found to be comforting. Yet, I still felt some unease about this new venture I was getting into.
My unease peaked when I completed my first assignment and sent it in. For the better part of the next two weeks, I was on pins and needles as I waited.
Finally, her reply came in the mail. I stared at the package for a few moments and was kind of afraid to open it. But then, I figured, okay let's open this and get it over with, and tore it open and started reading.
First, Susan told me what she liked about my work. Then she went into what she felt needed work. Susan's criticism was very constructive. She pointed out the sentences in question and gave some helpful advice as to how to fix them and make them sound better. I compared the two and would add in what she suggested and agreed, mostly, with her suggestions.
That's how it would go through the course; Susan's words were always helpful and constructive and I was showing that I was learning with each lesson. It got to the point that I was looking forward to hearing from her for her feedback.
It was a great course and I learned a lot from her!
A writer's ego and self confidence can be as fragile as fine china; especially a beginning writer.
Criticism can blow a writer's confidence out of the water, especially if the criticism is negative, it can make a person feel worthless and can even be psychologically damaging.
No writer EVER has been immune to criticism and every writer deals with it differently.
Take the criticism with a grain of salt.
Develop a "thick skin" and don't take the criticism you get as personal slight.
You will drive yourself bonkers if you let what people say get the better of you.
Take the criticism for whatever it is worth; soak in the constructive parts of it and delete the negative parts. But most importantly, learn from it and move on.
Success and good writing to you.