|For all American Idol Fans :)|
1. Cry and eat chocolate (in moderation).
- There’s nothing wrong with feeling bad about getting negative feedback—in fact, it’s perfectly normal. So don’t be afraid to be disappointed. One caution, though: don’t wallow in your misery. Have a cry, eat a bit of chocolate, then move on.
2. Talk to someone supportive, who can remind you what you loved about your story.
- Sometimes criticism can blind us to our story and make us think that the whole thing is rubbish or that we should scrap all of it. But remember, just because you received negative comments doesn’t mean the entire story is trash-worthy. So instead of throwing it out, talk to someone who likes your story and get your passion for the story back.
3. Distract your mind from your writing by doing something entirely different.
- Paint a portrait of your puppy. Plant petunias. Practice piano. Bake scones (and send me some!). Learn to knit or crochet. Do something productive, but make sure it’s not related to your writing.
4. Don’t look at or think about the criticism for at least a few days to a week.
- Give yourself time to sleep on the feedback. During that time, don’t go near your writing. Don’t read it, don’t edit it, and definitely don’t throw it away. Just let it hibernate for a week or so.
5. Use the criticism!
- Once you’ve waited a few days and occupied your mind with other things, you’re ready to return to your story with fresh eyes. Read the criticism and see where it might be true. Then edit your story using the feedback. Make sure you keep a spare copy of the original version, in case you don’t care for something you’ve edited.
- Honestly, although it’s difficult to edit something that we’re in love with, this step is the most crucial for the growth and improvement of your story. For myself, I’ve found that when I accept feedback and radically alter something I’ve written, it always comes out much stronger. Sure, it’s tough hearing your work criticized as “vague” or “flowery” (I’ve gotten both), but by the end of the editing process, I hope that you will be able to see that the criticism really helped propel your writing to the next level.
The hardest type of criticism to deal with is outright rejection without any reasons being given. If you don’t have any comments to work with, then follow steps 1-3 and then try to analyze your story by looking for weak parts that might have led to the rejection.