Surviving Criticism

Every month in Writer's Digest's InkWell section, we pose a question related to the writing life. Tell us your thoughts.
Brian
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Surviving Criticism

Postby Brian » Mon Aug 18, 2008 5:28 am


Brian
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Surviving Criticism

Postby Brian » Mon Aug 18, 2008 5:28 am

In every issue in Writer's Digest's InkWell section, we pose a thought-provoking question related to the writing life. In the October issue, Melissa Hart writes about the challenges of coping with reader criticism:
http://www.writersdigest.com/article/su ... the-spite/

What’s the worst criticism you’ve ever received from the public? How’d you respond, and what did you learn from the experience?

To be part of our monthly Conversation, post your response here by hitting the "reply" button. A few responses may be selected to run in a future "WD" e-newsletter.

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raymondstary
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Re: Surviving Criticism

Postby raymondstary » Mon Aug 18, 2008 5:40 am

"You are perhaps the worst writer, ever."

I responded: "I hate you, mom!" and slammed the door to the basement.

Sarah Jane
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RE: Surviving Criticism

Postby Sarah Jane » Mon Aug 18, 2008 6:32 am

Even though I'm not done my novel my semi-friends have even been nasty to me.  Once one of them said, "Ya know writing isn't even worth your time." 

Oh boy was she wrong.

Sarah Jane :o


Tails
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Re: Surviving Criticism

Postby Tails » Mon Aug 18, 2008 9:15 am

"So where's the originality?"

Honestly, I'm not very good at taking criticism, but I suck up a lot and try to listen as well as I can. This one, though, was just a little over the edge. Totally off, if I must clarify.

jrtomlin
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Re: Surviving Criticism

Postby jrtomlin » Mon Aug 18, 2008 9:54 am

Seriouslly--I once got a rejection from a FANTASY publication stating: Stories like this are why I stopped reading fantasy.

Huh? It took a while but eventually I had to laugh.

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G-Girl
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Re: Surviving Criticism

Postby G-Girl » Mon Aug 18, 2008 9:57 am

"For someone who WANTS to be a writer, you sure need to work on your communication skills." My response: I'm currently working on my communication skills.

Jamesaritchie
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Re: Surviving Criticism

Postby Jamesaritchie » Tue Aug 19, 2008 5:59 am

I showed one of my first stories to a critique group, one with pro writers in it, along with a number of amateurs. The unanimous decision was that the story was awful, and stood no chance of being published. Some very nasty comments were tossed in.

The story, unchanged, sold to a national glossy for $1,000, and then reprint rights sold to a second large magazine.

Criticism? Bah, humbug. Trust your gut.

abqwriter
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Re: Surviving Criticism

Postby abqwriter » Tue Aug 19, 2008 7:11 am

Over the years I've been told that I sucked as a writer, that a specific piece I wrote was #@$%#, and that I was an idiot of a writer. But I have to remember that I chose a profession which puts myself in the public eye, so I take it in stride. When it's an editor, I filter through the language to figure out what I need to change in the piece; when it's an acquaintance, I smile, thank them for the feedback and change the subject. I also have to remember the wonderful, kind things that people have said to me over the years; it balances out.

jrtomlin
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Re: Surviving Criticism

Postby jrtomlin » Tue Aug 19, 2008 9:14 am

My own attitude when it's an editor is that I change it after I get the contract and check. :)

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