Embrace criticism: learn how to be a better writer through the eyes of others

Over and over again, I read in forum comments about someone’s fear of bad reviews and criticism. I believe this fear of criticism stems from the age-old fear that someone won’t like us. This presupposes that literary criticism largely has to do with the creator of the work, when in reality, literary criticism rarely has anything at all to do with the author of the work.

Repeat after me: I am not my book. My book is not me.

Now, repeat that as many times as you need to, until you understand that criticism of your book or story is not actually aimed at you as a person.

Once you understand this, you are ready to recognize that bad reviews can work FOR you, instead of AGAINST you. Through the eyes of other readers and literary critics, you can see your writing through an unfiltered lens. Only then can you start to see the mistakes you didn’t even know you made, and we have all made mistakes, whether new writer or seasoned writer.

So, when you put your work out for the world to see, embrace all feedback you are given. See criticism as a gift. Learn to sort through the feedback and pick out that which will help you to write better the next time.