Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Dealing with Criticism


I'm no stranger to criticism. As a writer who's done a myriad of work--including editing, writing for blogs, writing for magazines, and publishing my own paranormal fiction novellas--I'm used to receiving criticism for that work.

Typically, when I get critical feedback I take a moment to sit back and really reflect on what was said. I'll deconstruct their words and delve into the meaning behind them. More often than not, I am upset with what I hear, and that prevents me from grasping the true intent. I'll find that what they've said is actually constructive so I'll try to take away something significant from it. I understand that they were trying to give some solid advice and not trying to be a jerk.

I also try to remind myself that usually I'm upset, not at what they've said, but with my expectations of how I thought they would respond. I'll pump myself up by thinking, "Surely they will think it's just as awesome as I do!" so when I don't get the reaction I'm expecting, I get upset. Again, I remind myself that they're not really trying to be a jerk, but rather that my expectations were too high.

Other times, it's just that they don't look at my work the way that most other people do. In these instances, then, I simply acknowledge their words and then throw them away in my mental trash can. Not everyone is going to 'get it'. In other words, not everyone is going to see what I'm trying to do with my work or where I'm going with it.

Recently, I had a different kind of criticism. I employed all my above tactics with it, and while I understood that some of it was the 'they don't get it' kind of criticism, it really was a calculated attempt to completely undermine my work and make me feel bad. It was a rough blow. I actually cried, something that I've always tried very hard not to do when it comes to my craft. I know that I can't let things get to me or I'll never be able to make it in this business without losing it and/or giving up. 

So how, then, should I deal with such cruel words? After giving myself some time to 'grieve', I let it go by recognizing it for what it truly was. I'm not going to let one bitter person's words derail my career and all the hard work I've done towards that end. I'm going to take it as a learning experience in dealing with a whole new level of criticism, and, of course, I'm going to share it with you.

You are the reason I keep doing what I do. This website gets a lot of traffic, and while I don't get many comments, I am humbled and uplifted by your presence. I believe in me, and I know you do too. So thanks. Thanks for being here, believing in me, and 'getting it'. 

Have a fantastic day,

H.A. 


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