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What to do with criticism.

It would be wonderful to publish our books and novels and have them received with nothing but accolades and praise. This is not realistic, though. Someone will object to something. Try to use criticism to improve and grow as a writer.

When I joined my online writer's group, I was terrified, especially when I realized that the group held over 10 000 members. So, when I created my account I uploaded my first piece right away before I lost my nerve altogether. I received helpful reviews that pointed out what I needed to work on as well as recognizing what I did right. I give reviews of this type whenever I review for my group.

For the most part, criticism is given with intention of helping. The reader wants you to improve. You should approach reviews and critiques with a positive attitude. Remember to pay attention to all parts of the review. The praise can help as much as the criticism. You should continue to do what you are doing right.

Conversely, pay close attention to what the reviewer thinks needs improvement. There are times that the reader thinks something quite different than you about what you are trying to say. Then suggestions might seem incongruous to you. I always try changing something, even if I think it might not work. You never know when you are wrong and someone else is right. I know from further feedback if an experiment has worked.

There is a difference between helpful criticism and harassment. This is strictly forbidden in my writing group. If you are getting consistently bad reviews from a reader, but getting favorable reviews from others for the same pieces, there is a problem. Don't stand for it. Some readers give bad reviews for personal reasons.

Take criticism in your stride. Do what you can to integrate your reader's suggestions into your further pieces.

Relax and let others help you. We all need help at different times in our lives.

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