How to Deal with Critics

Learning how to deal with critiques and critics is a huge part of sharing your work. Criticism comes from many different sources including your editor, other writers, family or friends, or from your readers. It’s important to learn how to deal with critics so their words don’t keep you from doing the work you love.

If criticism gets under your skin, you need to learn how to deal with it. You will not survive as a writer if you don’t learn how to ignore, accept and rise above it. Here are seven tips for handling criticism.

1. Listen to the criticism without getting defensive or taking it to heart.

2. Remember the person is not criticizing you. They are sharing an opinion about your writing. Your writing is not who you are but only a product of your brain. Take a deep breath. Remind yourself you are valuable as a person even if someone doesn’t like your work.

3. Discuss it with other writers when you find criticism challenging to handle. Tell others in writing groups or with your writing buddy how the criticism made you feel. Get their opinion on how to handle it.

4. Don’t respond to the negative reviews. When you receive reviews and comments from readers, it’s just their opinion. They aren’t the professional reviews. Don’t expect everyone to love your writing.

5. Accept the judgments for what they are: a way to help you improve. Helpful criticism provides feedback on how you can improve your writing. You can tell if it is something you need to consider if the same type of critique keeps popping up in more than on review of the same work.

6. Realize that the critic is only one reader. Their view might be the same as others, or theirs might not. Just know that one person’s criticism is just their view. Look at it as a warning sign that some part of your writing may need to be improved.

7. Thank your critic. Take the high road, be kind and thank them for their review of your work.

Every writer will have to deal with a critic at some point in their career. Take it for how it’s meant: as helpful to improving your work, as someone who doesn’t like your style or from someone who is negative and jealous of your work. Try not to react, get advice from other writers, take care of yourself by staying positive, and find the good in the criticism.

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