Thoughts on Criticism: 3 Things About Being a Writer

3 Things About Being a Writer (calling them ‘facts’ seemed to be a little bold, as they’re just thoughts from an inexperienced, and far from successful, writer.)

  • People will hate it. There’s no getting away from that. Think about your favourite writer, and search their book on Amazon. Does it have any one-star reviews? If not, they’re a extraordinarily rare case. You could be the best writer in the world and still have people who put it down. Take criticism well, and definitely don’t let it get you down.
  • You will hate it. Writers have a love-hate relationship with their work at the best of times. Whether it’s after reading your first draft, or six months after it’s published, you will hate what you’ve written at some point. Did you know that even J.K. Rowling said she’s read through her Harry Potter books and cringed? Don’t worry about it. The light will reach you, and you will realise why you put those hours into your work in the first place. And remember, too, that there is ALWAYS room for improvement. The worst thing you can do is quit.
  • You must write what you want to write, not what others want. There’s a fine line between catering to the current market and just writing what you think others want to hear. Have you ever had that feeling where you must write down that raw, embarassing truth, without anything or anyone on the outside forcing it to change? Hold onto that feeling. Editing for the sake of making sense and improvement is fine, but never change to suit others if you’re not okay with it. Writing is yours, and yours alone. That’s what makes it beautiful.

I’ve had good feedback and bad feedback for Blood of the Fallen (thankfully more good than bad so far). As a writer, or indeed any kind of artist, you have to be prepared for criticism. There will always be people out there who will hate what you do, and sometimes they’ll give good reasons for it. You can’t please everybody. The best thing you can do is take positive feedback as encouragement and a reason to carry on, and take bad feedback as constructive and use it to better yourself. There’s no way to avoid bad feedback unless you just stop writing – or singing, or dancing, or drawing, or whatever it is that you do. And if you stop your passion because you’re scared of being criticised, then you’ve lost your purpose in life.

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2 thoughts on “Thoughts on Criticism: 3 Things About Being a Writer

  1. Pingback: Other Authors Are Not Your Rivals! | No Books, No Life

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