Resources for Writers
Handling Criticism: Really Useful Links by Paul Anthony Shortt
It happens to the best of us; someone doesn’t like our work and they decide to let us know. Maybe they tell us in private, maybe they leave a scathing review on Amazon, maybe they come to our social media and have it out right there. Some critics are gentle, others are harsh. Some have valid points we can use to make future books better, others just need to get a rant off their chest.
Despite how often we, as writers, put ourselves at risk of receiving criticism, there’s not usually a lot of talk about how to deal with it. “Don’t read reviews” is of course the standard advice, and “Never comment on reviews” is always a sound strategy in case you ignore the former statement.
But let’s take a deeper look at how you can, on a personal as well as public level, handle criticism appropriately and constructively.
1: Dealing With Criticism as an Author – To start, we have a guest post on Graeme Shimmin’s blog, from psychologist Dr. Anita Sanz. Graeme also chips in with his own experience of criticism, and overall this is a great article to take in.
2: How to Handle Criticism of Your Writing – The Writing Co-Operative reminds us how important it is to understand that while some criticism is valid, not all of it is. You have to be able to separate the two, and absorb the constructive stuff while letting go of the rest.
3: How to Take Criticism – In this article, Joanna Penn focuses on a specific kind of criticism; beta reader feedback. More than any other kind of criticism, the feedback you get from beta readers, and editors, is the most important you’ll receive. Be prepared to set your ego aside and learn.
4: 11 Writers on How They Deal With Criticism – Hearing from those who’ve gone before us is always reassuring. Flavorwire gives us the advice of seasoned authors and how they handle tough feedback.
5: How Not to Take Criticism as a Writer – Let’s wrap things up with a run-down of the very things you should never do in response to criticism. Remember as a writer, everything you do in front of others, whether online or at an event, is part of your marketing and PR. I’ve seen authors’ careers shot down before they began, all due to their response to one bad review.
That’s all for this week. Good luck!
(c) Paul Anthony Shortt