So you finally got some feedback on your writing – yay!
But it’s not 100% adoring praise? Perhaps it includes a few *gasp* suggestions for improvement?
Here’s how I handle constructive criticism.
Yup. I get upset.
So I hereby grant you permission to cry about it.
I won’t judge.
2. Have Some Wine
Just try not to cry too much into your wine – those salty tears can really throw off the taste.
For bonus points, drink your wine alone, in a dark room.
3. Question Every Decision You’ve Ever Made
Somewhere between the crying and the wine, I usually start to question my decisions. All of them. In my entire life.
This starts with writing – “Why did I write that stupid line? Why did I use the word ‘touch’ five times in one sentence?” Then it moves on to things like, “Why didn’t I just go to law school?”
4. Get to Work
After crying, wine, and an existential crisis – plus a good night’s sleep – I’m usually ready to take another look at my work.
And here’s what I’ve found about constructive criticism. Annoyingly, my readers tend to be right. Not all the time, but most of the time.
Once I’ve cut those unnecessary descriptions, tightened up the dialouge, added some emotional depth to my descriptions – well, my work is better. Usually much better.
Constructive criticism. It hurts, but it helps.
Now get writing!