Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Rise Up Against Criticism

We writers tend to be a sensitive lot to begin with, since we put so much of our inner lives and thoughts out there, naked, for the world to see. So it's no surprise that we can be hyper-sensitive to criticism.

And in a world filled with anonymous comments and instant reader feedback, it's never been easier to be criticized.

To be an effective writer, however, you'll need to learn to use constructive criticism to help you improve, and you'll need to desensitize yourself to snarky, negative criticism. Here are a few thoughts to help you:

1) Try not to react emotionally to critics or their criticism.

2) Once you've put aside your emotion, assess the merit of the criticism. Is it snark? Then disregard it. Is it legitimate criticism? Then absorb it and grow from it.

3) Remember that the vast majority of critical comments you will hear over your life are less about you and more about the insecurities and mental projections of the critic himself.

4) Nothing you write will be perfect. There will always be flaws in anything you create, and even the most minor of them are available for anyone to publicly identify and tear apart. That's the nature of all creative work.

Once again, it's much easier to criticize than to create. Don't let the people who take the easy road bring you down.