Dealing with Criticism as an Author


Criticism is not always taken kindly. It may be a nerve-wracking experience getting criticism or a review you did not expect. Dealing with criticism as an author will be something that occurs, even if it's rare, and it's something that has to be dealt with correctly and professionally. 

As a first time author, you may feel belittled or begin to lack confidence within yourself and your writing. Dealing with criticism can be the toughest, yet most necessary part of being an author. Criticism will help you grow and develop.


Do not ignore any criticism

If you’ve had a bad review or had criticism from an editor, agent, reader, anything; don’t just ignore it. You need to hear the criticism or see the bad review to see what people do not like about your work. Even if you decided not to make any amendments, be sure to process the criticism correctly and consider what they have said and any advice they may have given.


Try not to let criticism get the best of you

Not everyone will enjoy your book / writing, that’s inevitable. Take a step back when reading any bad reviews or criticism and remind yourself that your target audience is not everyone. You may have a niche audience, or the criticism may simply not be someone from your targeted audience and therefore they won’t enjoy it as much as those from your targeted audience. Try to think logically about the situation instead of letting your emotions take control.


Criticism will help you grow and develop as an author


Ask yourself if the criticism you have been given is reasonable

Can something be done to solve the issue, and is the issue fair? Whilst criticism is subjective, see if what you have been criticised on is something that is acceptable to be criticised. If not, you may choose to do nothing about said criticism. If it is reasonable and you feel you can and want to solve the issue, do so.


Don't react negatively

When receiving criticism or any bad reviews, try not to react negatively. Reacting negatively will not get you anywhere and can simply leave you in a worse off place. A negative reaction can effectively give you a bad reputation as an author. This bad reputation can then affect your audience and amount of readers you have.


Don’t take any criticism personally

Any criticism you receive should essentially only be criticism about your book, and potentially your writing. They are not criticising you personally, they may simply be criticising your writing technique or skills. Your writing and your personality are separate.


Getting criticism as an author has the potential to ruin your confidence and make you doubt yourself. Remember to consider and take on board every piece of criticism given to you, even if it is unnecessary and harsh. Don’t let anything get the best of you. Dealing with criticism as an author is something that is a challenge, but the challenge will help you grow and learn. 


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