Hello my creative peeps! It's blog day and today I've decided to talk about negative feedback and criticism on your work. Cue the groans and eye rolls. Don't worry, I am not going to lay out ground rules on how to feel and act when your work is criticized. I am, however, going to offer words of encouragement, because trust me, I know how it feels when something you've worked hard on is judged harshly by those who haven't even given it a chance.
For instance, just this past weekend, my work was attacked online by people who hadn't even read my book. They didn't like my description, (it was bad by the way), and because of that they talked negatively about it and made assumptions about the actual book. Obviously, I was hurt and became discouraged by their words. I even started to question my ability to write. Their words affected me a lot because they didn't offer any real feedback or help on how to improve my description but just attacked me. Naturally, my first instinct, when all of this happened, was to respond and just let them have it. Fortunately, my publicist talked me down and I didn't make a huge mistake by retaliating. However, I did delete the original post I made, first, to make myself feel better, and then, to fix up my description. I soon found that deleting my post was also a bad idea because it gave them power over me, and believe me, that was and is not want I wanted. But I can't change that now. All I can do is move forward.
Not long after I deleted the post, though, I received a message of encouragement from a stranger who had witnessed everything that happened. His words reminded me of why I write and that negative feedback doesn't take away from the whole of the work and doesn't define me. He told me not to give up just because I received negative feedback, albeit rude, but to keep writing and growing. And that is the whole point of this blog post.
As creative people, we are always going to run into others who do not like our work and have something negative to say. But you know what, you can't please everybody. That is what I had to realize. Yes, my description needed work and was terrible, but my actual book is good. I've been given positive feedback from all ages but my target audience, young adults, like it and so do I. That's all that matters. I was starting to doubt myself and my writing all because I received feedback I didn't like. That is something we, as creative people, cannot do.
I encourage you to push forward and just learn from what others are saying regardless of how the feedback is given. Remember that your writing or whatever creative outlet you have is your own and that it takes a lot of guts to actually put yourself out there and let other see or view your work. Also, there is always going to be ways to improve and get better at your craft. No one is perfect so mistakes are going to be made and some people are going to notice and call attention to it to make you seem incompetent but all you can do is ignore the haters and learn from the feedback. Honestly, despite my hurt feelings, I was actually able to rewrite my description with the help of a fantasy writing group I joined. I would have never done that had I not received such strong negative reactions against the description I had. So, be encouraged and continue to do you. Your work matters regardless of what others think and you should never let what people say dictate your life and what you love to do. And that is my advice and words of encouragement for today. I'll see you guys next Wednesday and don't forget to check back here on Sunday for my next Book Review!
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A contrarian at heart. I prefer The Lord of the Rings over Harry Potter and Narnia. I love Country Music and John Hughes movies and am the worst at singing the correct lyrics.