By Lisa Brown
When you write out of passion, it might be intimidating when others criticize your writing.
It already takes a brave individual to share themselves in such a vulnerable way. Writing is very personal, and when a writer’s work is criticized, it becomes very personal. When you write something, you surely believe that you have done a fantastic job.
Now when you send that out into the world, it can be very difficult to deal with anything else, but compliments.
Unfortunately, the world is not always that kind, and sometimes you might require coping skills. Here are my tips to help you deal with criticism as a writer.
It’s not personal
As I said above, when someone criticizes your writing, it might feel like a personal attack, but it is not. At the end of the day, you need to understand that it is not about you, but rather about the work that you have produced.
We can look at any other career, and at some point, your work can be criticized. All that needs to be done is to fix any mistakes.
Imagine showing your work to a friend or family member, only to be shut down. Perhaps they are not as excited as you are about your work. All you have to do is ask for a more in-depth opinion.
What did they not like about your work? Take that information and grow from there. You can decide to ignore their suggestions or finally download that paraphrasing tool every said you should have.
Grow from it
Nobody likes to be criticized, purely because it makes us feel inadequate. The thing is, none of us are perfect, and even the best writers have flaws. Criticism is part of life, and it is better to deal with it early on.
If you feel that the criticism you received is unfair, you can always get revenge. The best thing you can do if you want revenge is to actually correct what the person criticized you on. Of course, this is completely up to you.
The way we handle other peoples’ negative opinions is going to determine if we grow or stagnate. Perhaps the criticism is an opportunity to improve and get better at your art.
There are so many tools available to us and you might just need a rephrasing a sentence tool or a grammar checker. There is nothing wrong with getting help.
All you are doing is improving your writing, and no one can criticize you for that.
More than one writing project
I believe that writers should have more than one writing project at the same time. This way, if one is not good enough, you can always fall back and work on the other one.
I am not saying that you should give up on any one of your projects, but sometimes it is just one piece of writing that might need far more work. You are not defined by one manuscript or one article.
You want to make sure that you don’t pour all your energy into one project and let that define you. There is more to you and a lot more that can be done. Even if one of your projects fail, at least you know that you are already working on something else.
When you work on one project only, and it gets shot down, you are going to pour a lot more energy into fixing it. In this time, you could be working on something else, so be careful how you distribute your energy.
Go with your gut
Sometimes people with no knowledge of writing want to give you their opinions. There comes a time where you have to start believing in your abilities and take these comments with a grain of salt.
Not every negative opinion is correct, and you might just have to leave things as they are. Be careful who you listen to. I would much rather take criticism from my publisher, than from someone with no writing experience.
Even if your editor tells you that your writing is not up to scratch, you need to be willing to fight for what you believe in. There is nothing wrong with you trusting your work above the opinions of others. In fact, that shows that you are evolving and believe in your skills.
If the criticism is constructive and you agree, go with it. If not, get more information and stick to what you believe in.
There are moments when the criticism you receive is valid, and you just need to accept it. After accepting that you are a human being that makes mistakes, you need to move on.
This moment does not define who you are or what type of writer you are. As long as you are growing through the process, it is all worth it. Allow yourself to make mistakes and do not beat yourself down about it.
Many writers have to struggle to get their work published, but they did not let one ‘no’ stop them from pursuing their goals. You are going to have to grow a tough skin and understand that this is part of the job.
It does not mean that you are a bad writer, but rather that you are still learning and growing. If the criticiser is correct in what they have to say, you should accept it and move right on.
Being a writer is all about discovering who you are through your thoughts and written work. There is no end to this journey, and just like we evolve as people, we evolve in our writing skills.
Using a good rephrasing website or an online grammar checker does not mean that you are not good enough. It simply means that you are using everything available to you, in order to succeed.
Hold on to your goals and dreams and do not let one comment move you away from the path you are on. There will always be some bumps in the road, but you will fall and get right back up and continue moving forward.
Lisa Brown works as a content manager. She is specialized in writing useful articles for writers, students and people who want to improve their writing skills. Her hobby is reading, travelling and blogging. Lisa`s life motto is “Never stop learning because life never stops teaching”.