One of the hardest parts of writing is the criticism that naturally comes along with it. Perhaps this even holds some of us back a bit. Writing makes you vulnerable. The whole point of writing is to pour your heart out onto the page (for days, months, or even years), put it out there for the world to see, and then wait for the reaction. We all hope for stellar reviews across the board and thousands of copies to be sold. But the reality is that no matter how perfect your writing is, there is always going to be someone who just doesn’t like it. It’s very hard to please everyone and that is one of the first things you need to accept if you are going to have a fulfilling and successful writing career. But, it’s not easy. Those comments hurt and often stick with us for years to come, popping into our mind most often at the worst possible time. Writing isn’t just about becoming a better writer, it’s also about becoming a better version of yourself. Writing teaches us many things and how to handle failure and negative criticism with class is just one of them.
I was so happy to see an article about criticism on Elite Daily yesterday- especially at this time year. Things are starting to wind down and we are starting to look into next year. We start setting our goals for the upcoming months, goals that most likely include more risk being taken and pushing yourself farther than you ever done before. With bigger risks often comes bigger criticism. But don’t worry, it’s not all bad. These pieces of criticism will most likely yield your greatest lessons. Here’s a few things that Merylee Sevilla has learned about enduring criticism.
- Critics will always exist.
There is always going to be someone out there that has something negative, no matter how big or small, to say about your work. The most important thing to remember is that they are criticizing you based on their own opinion. There are still many other people out there who absolutely love what you are doing- focus on that.
2. Grow tough skin.
Don’t let other people’s negativity get to you. Instead of feeling down or discouraged, use their criticism as energy. Energy to become a better writer and to perhaps win them over the next time around. Turn negativity into positivity.
3. Learn how to become innovative.
There’s a lot of criticism out there about not being ‘original’ enough. It’s really hard to be original. With the ease of the internet, more stories are getting published each day than ever before. Take your focus from trying to be ‘original’ and start being ‘innovative.’ Put new spins on stories that have already been done, break the rules a little, and aim to surprise your readers. Innovation is a much more realistic and just as effective goal.
4. Just go for it.
Your biggest regret will be holding back. If you are afraid to publish a story because of the possible criticism that might come along with it, you are missing a huge opportunity. A negative comment might hurt for a few days but the pain of a missed opportunity will never go away. Be brave, be bold, and publish your work as you imagine it to be.