Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Criticism

How do you handle it? First, there are several different kinds, right? There's criticism that's legitimate and helpful and only feels like rejection (and only at first, usually like an hour later, I'm like "They're right, that's good insight") and then there's the opposite end of the spectrum that's over the top, hateful, and personal: "I hate your book and your mom."

It's bound to happen to extremes for a writer. Have you read some of the reviews on Amazon? I'm telling you, writers had it so good before the technology explosion-- sure, they had to deal with bad reviews in various newspapers, but now? Joe Schmo can write "This book is stupid and your face is stupid." And it's left up, as if it's a credible criticism. His stars (or lack thereof) score against your book.

So here's my secret (or not so secret to my dear friends): I don't handle criticism well. But I want to. And it's not because I think my work is perfect-- it's more the opposite-- I'll take it to heart, believe every word, ESPECIALLY the bad stuff, which just doesn't work when you're a writer.
I think I've got to develop a thicker skin as well as an intuitive filter that can weed out legitimate criticism and focus on the helpful stuff versus the unhelpful.
How do you handle criticism?

1 comment:

  1. I was going to say, "Well when you write more, it'll be easier," but I don't think that's true at all. I kind of think it's harder when you do write a lot; so much more to lose. The "What ifs?" induced by random criticism feel bigger.

    I guess I just focus on the fact that (1) lots of people won't like my stuff and (2) lots of those people will also be immature enough to make it personal. That's just life, I guess.

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