Dealing with Criticism as a Writer

23 Mar

It’s reassuring to know that even successful and famous authors are hurt by criticism.

I was surprised by the author, in the attached article, who said that writing is just a job. I think getting my writing criticized is a personal attack, at least when it’s a mean critic. I have also come to the conclusion that mean, shallow, and insensitive people will hate my work. It seems like a personal attack, even if there’s nothing truly autobiographical in the work. I think most fiction writers, except hacks, put their soul into their work.

If I receive constructive criticism, I am eager to revise my manuscript. As an undergraduate so many years ago, I had a great fiction instructor, Joe Schuster, who gave such positive feedback that I invariably was eager to head for the computer lab and revise. Since then, I’ve had very different feedback that has given me the impression that, even though Joe’s feedback should be the norm, it’s apparently unusual.

That said, next week I’m attending a new novel critique group, and I’m hoping all the feedback I receive will be constructive and therefore inspire me to revise rather than give me writer’s block. I could be wrong, but I think my feedback is much more like that of Joe’s—positive and inspiring. I certainly try to make it that way.


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