7.03.2017

How to Take Critiques without being emotionally destroyed by them

At some point or another, someone is going to read your writing.  This could be a school essay, a short story, or your baby (novel).  It's scary because you wonder if you are good enough.  Is this good enough to get published?  Is this good enough to get a good grade?  Am I actually a good writer?  Did I to X plot point right?  Are my characters realistic and likable?  I find that a lot of times, I use beta readers as validation that my work is finally good enough.  I hope hope hope that it is...but then the critiques come in.  It's a very sad feeling to know that you still need to fix things.  Sometimes, it makes you feel like a failure.  Here are some ways to combat those feelings.

1. Separate yourself from your work.


Your identity is found in Christ, NOT your writing.  Before sending your work out, take a step back from it.  Realize that this isn't personal anymore, it is a product that you made.  (I learned this from Thomas Locke at Realm Makers last year.)

2. Realize that beta readers are your friends.


They offered to critique your story because they want to help YOU.  It isn't an evaluation of how good of a writer you are.

3. Be open to change.


I've beta read for some people who defend every single editing decision they made.  Yeah, that's a little frustrating because how are they supposed to get better?

4. It's okay to be upset, but don't dwell on it.


This isn't quite as easy as it sounds.

5. There's always another novel.


So this novel is beyond hope (at least for the present time).  Write another one!  And another one!  And another one until your writing improves.  Even published authors haven't hit their "ceilings".

Have you ever gotten harsh critiques?  How did you get over them?


3 comments:

  1. One of my first critiques on my story was rather harsh. The critique was right about some things, but also didn't agree with the politics or morality in the story, so I got a bit defensive.
    One thing I would add to this, if you're feeling upset, wait at least a day before responding to critique.

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  2. Great advice!

    I followed your blog, and I would sincerely appreciate it if you checked out my book reviews blog at https://elsbookreviews.blogspot.ca/ and possibly give it a follow as well! Excited to read more of your posts!

    - El

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  3. Thanks for the advice! I just recently sent my baby to a couple friends for their thoughts and am waiting in anticipation :)

    http://teensliveforjesus.blogspot.com/

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