During our writing escapades, we often encounter criticism from friends, and even worse, from reviewers. That criticism can encapsulate everything from a scene to characters to our writing style itself. You may encounter some bitter individuals who just want to attack your work for no clear reason. I encountered this once, where someone first submitted a five-star review of my book, only to change it to one star… but what can you do? You may have heard writers say that you haven’t ‘made it as a writer’ until your first one-star review. Well, I experienced this early on (heh). The worst thing you can do is reply to it!
Criticism from others hurts, but they will never reach the level of the worst critic; yourself. You may reflect on what others said about your own hard work and wonder; is it good enough? Are they right? Nothing will ever get more debilitating than your own self-doubt and, at worst, it can mean a loss in focus or faith in your work.
But how do I solve this? That’s the million-dollar question, which doesn’t hold just one answer. Each person has different versions that may work for them, but here are a few possible solutions:
No one will know your stories as well as you. You started them and only you can finish them. Rediscover what you liked about writing and get, well… writing.
Dennis Scheel has always had stories running in his head but was unable to tell them until after his accident, which left him mute and paralyzed on his right side. After he worked his way back through recovery, he wanted to try to tell his story once more after an acquaintance told him he was talented at writing poetry. Prior to that, his ex had convinced him not to write for ten years by insisting that he had no aptitude for writing. This time, Dennis tried writing his stories in English for the first time. Finally, he succeeded, and has never stopped writing since. The effort has produced three stellar novels:
No Way Back- The Underworlds
Taken With a Dark Desire: The Underworlds
Rejecting Destiny: The Underworlds
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