Wednesday, May 7, 2014

How do you handle criticism? (IWSG)

In the past few weeks I have decided that I would love to be a self-published author. The option would suit my needs so much better and I would get to have more control. But now I want to know, how do you published authors cope with having your work out there for the whole world to read and criticize? I know that it’s hard to please everyone, but I’m afraid my work is too much of an acquired taste and that bad reviews could sink my potential writing career before it even begins. I know I’m getting ahead of myself, but I like having realistic expectations. I’m currently in the editing phase and would love to publish by this time next year. 

At this moment I think I should keep going and publish my book, even though most people might not like it. How I will react when people beg me stop writing crappy books, I don’t really know. But when the time comes, I hope there will be at least one or two people who might like it. At this point I think I need thicker skin. 

The Insecure Writers Support Group was created by the wonderfully talented Mr. Alex J Cavanaugh, so that writers can share the insecurities they have with each other and/or encourage others who need support with their insecurities. You can visit Alex Here, or if you want to join us in discussing our insecurities on the first Wednesday of each month, you are welcome to join by going Here.


  1. Well, I'm not published, but I had some beta readers who really didn't care for my book. And it made me sad, sure, but it happens. And it was still useful—gave me a lot to consider.

    I've decided when I am published that I'll try to avoid reading reviews. I can't imagine that'll last long, though...

    I think artists in general need to have a very thick skin in order to do what they do because you really can't please everyone.

    Best of luck with your writing...

  2. M.J. - Thank you so much for your input and advice. I agree with you, I need thicker skin. I have changed my book so many times, because of all the criticism i got. But i hope the final edition i publish won't be judged too harshly. Thanks again for your honest opinion.

  3. I so wish you luck with this - I am a firm believer that we must write what our hearts tell us to write and not everyone will respond the way we want. It's hard and sad, but true.

  4. There's just no way you're going to please everyone. As long as some readers like what you like (and with the internet offering you access to billions of people chances are good) then I think you shouldn't worry about those who aren't feeling it.

    Moody Writing

  5. Karen - Thank you so much for your great words of wisdom and encouragement.

    Mooderino - Thank you so much for your honest words. It really helped.

  6. There will be people who like it. And they're the ones who count! You can't please all the people all the time. Best of luck with your ongoing editing.

  7. There will be people who like it. And they're the ones who count! You can't please all the people all the time. Best of luck with your ongoing editing.

  8. Hi Murees
    Go for the self-publishing.
    Accept that some people won't like your work while others will. Everything written is a personal taste. You don't have to read the reviews, but don't forget that even bestsellers have had bad reviews.
    Shrug it off and carry on.
    It can only improve you in the long run.
    All the very best.

  9. Nick - Thank you for your kind words. It really put me at ease.

    Fanny - Thank you so much for the great advice. It really helped.

  10. Thick skin is a must. But something I try to remember is that all books receive negative reviews. Even my favorites! Put the best book out that you can and then write the next one :)

  11. I am an aspiring writer too. I have been taking writing courses from Holly Lisle. I love her courses. She has changed the way I look at and approach my writing.

    One of the most profound things she has said and taught is, not everyone is your reader, so not everyone will like it, and you will not want them to.

    She says write what you love, and people like you will love it too. Those are your readers.

    It makes sense. You cannot please everyone, but you can please yourself, and in doing so, please the ones most like you.

    I really enjoyed your post. I too hold some of that fear, but it does not paralyze me anymore, but I feel it. I want others to like my stories too.

    Best Wishes on this journey.
    Juneta at Writer's Gambit

  12. I want to second what Julie Musil said - put the best book out you can.
    Rather than worrying about people who might not like the book in the future, figure out who is probably going to like it and find out where to find those people. Starting doing things now to connect with your readers. Doing concrete things might make you feel less anxious about things that might happen later.
    Elizabeth Hein - Scribbling in the Storage Room

  13. I'm not sure yet, because I'm not at that point, but I've seen some really healthy attitudes out there about it. Now if I can only reach that point before I get there, life will be way better! I think you need to look at it from the angle of taking the constructive, helpful feedback and ignoring the rest. There are some who refuse to read their reviews, and some who read them all. It will be about deciding what works for you. I have no idea how not to be hurt by it, though.

  14. Write as well as you can, and let your book loose into the world - it's like having a child, you can only do so much, and then they're on their own!

  15. Julie - Great advice, thank you!

    Juneta - Thank you so much for the wonderful advice. Knowing that I only have to worry about whether I am happy with the end product really helps.

    Elizabeth - Thank you, that is wonderful advice. Making my book the best it can be is what i should be focusing on.

    Shannon - Thank you. That is great advice. Focusing only on what will help me and not deter me. I guess I could ignore the reviews and if i see one per accident, eat lots of ice cream to cheer me up.

    Annalisa - Thanks for the great words. I wish i had your attitude, because i think you are so brave.

  16. If you find some honest crit partners, and/or beta readers and take their advice seriously, your work should clean up just fine.

    Remember you get only one chance to make a good impression--make the book the very best you can do.

    Anna from Shout with Emaginette

  17. Criticism will make a writer better and face it with a smile and change only where u need to not for others but for ur mind's satisfaction n improvement.u r gud at writing but every writer needs to struggle alot n all the effort is worth it as u leave a keep writing..Smiles Murees Dupe:))

  18. Emaginette - I am in the process of trying to make my book as good as possible and to a point where I am really proud of it. Thank you for stopping by.

    Adhi - Thank you for the kind words. I am struggling, but smiling.

  19. You cannot please everybody.
    Some readers will like it. Some readers won't.
    The important thing is YOU must like it.
    You can do it, Murees!
    Don't let others hold you back.
    Go for it!

  20. Michelle - Thank you. You are really kind and I am so grateful.

  21. so, you have a whole year to develop that thicker skin =)
    yes, there will be people who dont like it and say mean things (i dont mind bad reviews, but i despise those who cant show respect, but it's all part of it)

    and getting noticed is actually harder to do than taking bad reviews...

    you definitely should keep going!

  22. Tara - Thank you for the encouraging and honest words. And like you pointed out, i have a whole year to develop thicker skin and now also get some big girl pants.

  23. If you wait until you're sure everyone in the world will love every word you've written or until you are positive nothing anyone could say will hurt you, you'll never move forward. Polish your work till you think it ready and let it fly.

  24. LD - Thank you, that is great advice. It echoes how I feel and what I really want to do.

  25. I think you need to trust your instincts, Murees. You'll know when you're happy with your story. We all need thicker skins, I think. It can be hurtful when people criticize our work. It depends if they do it tactfully. That's what my instructors did. They noted my strong points, as well as the things I needed to correct.
    As always, I believe you should follow your dreams.

  26. Wow, you've got tons of great comments here, but I'll just say that accepting it early on, and learning from others mistakes, has helped me when people don't absolutely adore my work. Don't they get it? ;)

    It comes with the job, and if it upsets you for awhile, that's okay. I think allowing yourself to feel the emotion and then move on is a great place to start.

    As long as it doesn't cripple you into inaction, just do what you gotta do. :)

  27. Deanie - Thank you for the great advice and support. I hope to make this dream a reality soon.

    Katie - Thank you, your advice is really helpful. I am going to do what I need to do, no matter how scary.


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