How to deal with criticism as a writer
As a writer, dealing with criticism is something we all have to learn. Unfortunately, I’m not very good at this. Recently I let some people read my book. We all know how scary that is right? let other people read your book baby. You spent so much time and put so much effort into this. but the problem is you are not very confident about this. and sending it to the others just seems so overwhelming. And yes it is. I was so scared about sharing my writing with others. In fact until then I didn’t talk about my wip at all. I was so scared that someone would tell me that the idea was bad or anything. Before I get started with the tips I want to tell you guys what my experience was like and why I made this post.
I shared my writing with some people very recently. And it was scary, but here’s the deal. One of them really liked the book overall but they had some feedback. They didn’t tell me how to fix it but they did tell me what was wrong in it. Another one on the other hand loved it and I swear I cried happy tears at that. Now my last beta reader on the other hand didn’t feel the same way. They had a lot of problems with it and they also knew exactly how to fix it. They had brilliant solutions to all the problems but they weren’t very nice about it. Over 5 times they told me that my fight scenes were horribly written and that no one would understand anything form it. Now they also told me that my writing reminded them of diary entries they would write in their English exam when they didn’t really care. And again and again he practically told me that my writing was very, very bad. Trash. And this hurt me a lot. I am pretty sensitive and well not self-confident, at all. I never was self-confident about my writing and guess what, I know its not very good. But I also know that I can make it better. That it's still my book and I can take control of it.
And I want to take a moment to thank one of my Instagram group chat who listened to my rant and really helped me with it. they agreed that I needed to take a day off for myself and not feel guilty about it. but instead I am here writing this post because writing always helped me with my emotions and I want this post to maybe help some of you too. But before we get started with the post consider signing up to my newsletter, liking and commenting on my post I have new content every Monday and writing templates to help you. Now let’s get started.
1. You asked for the advice
You asked for the advice didn’t you? I mean, you are probably stuck with your novel somewhere and you needed a fresh set of eyes on your book. You absolutely need this and you asked them for the advice. Here I am talking about the beta reading process and not book reviews after you publish, but to be fair even then you kind of asked for it. A reader has full rights to say something negative about your book. Its their opinion. That of course doesn’t make it hurt any less.
But please do consider asking whoever you send it off to be nice about it. tell them that you want some feedback but you really need them to be nice about it. Tell them to e honest but nice. The number of people who’ll actually agree to that ’ll surprise you. Especially if it’s a fellow writer, because they’ll understand who you feel just as much as you do.
2. Your book is important to you…but not to others
God I know I practically sound like a monster at this point. But its true guys. You love your book so much. You put in blood, sweat and tears into this. you worked your but off and it was hard. There were days where you wanted to give up but you didn’t. And those characters are practically your babies now. they are practically your best friends and you know so much about them. Like its literally so much work and you may even have created an entire world. I get all of this but guess what others won’t. I don’t care if its your mom who you sent it too. She probably won’t love it as much as you do. she’ll probably be proud of you but we all know its not the same.
I just want you to take a minute to acknowledge this before you get your work out there because you’ll realize this later if not sooner and its just going to hurt more then.
3. Write what you love about your book
If you are anything like me, this part is probably hard for you. For a while now I couldn’t find anything I liked about my book but now there is. But what I want you to do here is go back to when you were first writing your book. And by that I mena drafting. There had to be this one scene which made yous o happy to write or it filled your heart with whatever feeling you were feeling. It may have been a sad scene too but you know you did it well and you love it which is really the most important thing here right? others may not agree with this but I want you to get that feeling down on paper or record it or maybe tell your friend about its o they can remind you about it later. You’ll need that reminder that this made you happy and that was the whole point of it right? Listen to me when is ay that you might get a lot of bad feedback and a lot of people might not mean it.
One of my characters was called a “dummy piece” it’s a super collocal term but it really hurt me. I also got this is horribly written and you need to revisit this scene and your writing is lacking so much. And also that my writing style is very bad and its just so dull and lacking and di I mention how it was compared to a diary entry my brother would write for his exam. Well I worked hard on it. writing doesn’t come to me naturally. I can’t just string a few words together and make it look pretty. I can tell a story but making it look pretty doesn’t come to me. for him its super easy just not for me. So write it down for you. So you don’t drown and so you are okay because people will say things. Your opinion is what matters most at the end of the day.
4. Don’t. Give. Up.
You heard me don’t give up. I’m going to say it again for those of you who find this hard. Your wip is very important okay? If it’s important to you then that is what matters. Don’t give up on it if it’s important to you. You decide how important it really is and if its worth it. I know what other people say can affect you so easily. Just don’t let it get in the way in how you feel about your book. Its hard but you need to keep going because it’ll all be worth it.
5. You are the only person who gets to decide if your book is worth it.
You get to decide if you succeed or if you don’t. I know it doesn’t feel like it now but don’t let their opinions get In the way. The way you react to something is very important. How you react to a situation is very important. You are the only person who decides if you fail or not. Other people will have opinions, but you are the one who gets to decide if this will knock you down or not. My advice, DON’T.
6. Let someone who you know will love your book read it.
I cannot tell you how important this really is. My best friend reading the book was everything to me. out of all the people I sent it off to, sending it to her was the easiest. I knew she would love the book. And above all of that I knew she believed in it. I sometimes felt like she was the one person who believed in it and in me more than I did. I lost confidence a lot and broke down almost fully to her but she believed in it. I’d like to think that she actually liked the book although it wasn’t very good. I don’t know who this person is I your life but you probably have that and its so important. Having someone love and believe in your book is just as important, if not more than getting real constructive feedback from someone. Now one of my beta readers knew exactly how to fix the book but having my bets friend read it made me cry happy tears. So huge huge thank you to her for that. so find that person because it is definitely important.
7. Consider making some writing friends.
Writing friends are awesome. They are those people who really get what your going through. They’ve probably been through the same. I know that making friends can be very intimidating especially since sometimes going online is a way to find them. My Instagram is @writeyourstory.blogforwriters feel free to head there and send me a quick text saying hello I’m a writer and looking for new a writing friends. Don’t care if it sounds lame but I’ll reply and a lot of others will too. So really consider this last part..
That’s all I have for you today I hope you liked it and it helped you too. Comment down below and let me know how you deal with criticism and if its easy for you or extremely difficult? Also like this post and share it with your friends. That’s all I have today make sure to subscribe and check your inbox next Monday where you’ll get notified when I post (if you subscribe that is).