Sunday, July 27, 2014

Bad critique and how to take it...

All writers have to develop tough dinosaur skin. 
Being told to change/revise our work is of course important. 
Alas some critiques are more scathing than others and even well-intentioned and supportive critique can be painful. And at some point we might all encounter a critter who is downright mean. So it's not you, but their writing that is:
 
But basically we have a choice - after the broken heart picks up it's beat: We can accept critique as helpful - even if we disagree - or we can allow ourselves to become emotionally defeated and give up. But if we want to write professionally and live our dream, then we need to get up after a tough critique, straighten our crown and go back to writing.
Also there are a few things everybody should keep in mind, 
when receiving a not colored pink and tied with ribbons critique:
  •  Not everybody likes your writing! That's ok. People have different tastes, views and perspectives. Your talent is not eradicated just because someone dislikes your work!
  • Beware of wrong motives! There's a score of critters - and other writers - who critique with a mindset of moving you towards their style. Alas it's your unique voice that makes you special,  don't loose it!
  • If you meet an ....... that has not a single positive thing to say, hit the delete and then the block button. Why? There is just no way your work is 100% shit! These people either have a problem themselves, a too big an ego or they plainly envy you and need to put you down - nice thought, mmh?!
  • Don't start handing your manuscript out after you have done the 167. revision, polished and shiny. By then it's too late and the baby too close to your heart. Start early when question-marks are still imprinted on your forehead and heart anyhow and different views can push you on, clear fuzzballs in your brain and help you see light!
  • Build up your defense-system and only ask for critique when you're ready! Value honesty and stay as objective as possible. Don't defend your work or make excuses. Just listen and accept critiques and tips with grace - then go with your own gut feeling: After all only you know the story and only you can tell it the way it's supposed to be!
And you know what my first step is after reading a bad critique - or any for a matter of fact? I close it for a while, walk away and get myself something nice - chocolate or a nice cup of coffee with a higher dose of cookies! 
And what works for you?