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How to Deal With a Negative Critique

Duck ShootAn interesting therianthropy occurs once you put your head above the parapet (and pen to paper) and share your views on your specialist subject.

You become one of those dented yellow tin ducks that you see at fairgrounds and fair game for anyone with a sniper rifle who holds a strong view, about the way you have laid out your view.

There are several reactions to have following a harsh critique of your body of work. You can either 1) learn from their opinion 2) take it on the chin, or 3) take umbrage and get all unnecessary about it.

I advocate a bit of the former and a slice of the tertiary. If you go for the latter you might as well hang up your pen today, because your blood pressure won’t be able to cope if the reading world cottons on to what you’re writing about and begs for more.

The larger your audience, the higher the likelihood that you’ll attract potentially objectionable viewpoints.

As an author in any field of fiction or non-fiction, you’ll do well to accept the fact that you cannot be all things to all men. You are never going to please them all, it’s just not possible.

If your work is lucky enough to attract a one or two word sweeping statement critique, like ‘Filth!’ ‘Juvenile!’ or ‘Shocking!’ for every reader it puts off, it may well engage two others!

Whatever happens, don’t let your creative spirit be dampened by one person’s view of your work.

Onwards and upwards and bring the critics on I say…it must mean your work is worthy in the first place, for them to digest it…you must be doing something right…

Encouragingly yours,

The Team

3 thoughts on “How to Deal With a Negative Critique

  1. If you keep your writing completely private, you don’t need to worry about critics. For everyone else this post has some good advice.

    1. I have recently stuck my head above the parapet on a writer’s forum.
      I’m happy to report that a good 80% of the reviews were positive and constructive.
      The rest were either neutral (I can’t expect everyone to understand my work) yet accept the ‘Like’-style feedback, or quite critical.
      Of those who disliked my construction, I read carefully their observations, researched and took advice where I felt I could improve.
      For those who thought my poetry wasn’t even greetings-card-worthy, I took it on the chin as their opinion, to which they’re perfectly entitled.. and mentally walked away.

      1. A very sensible attitude Mandy. If everyone liked the same things then the world would be vanilla. Variety is the spice of life and that means that there will always be people who think your work is Marmite!

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