Answering critics and strategies to deal with disappointment
Updated: Nov 8, 2019
Everyone’s a critic. Everyone has an opinion. And of course, everyone's entitled to their opinion.
But what happens when a critic or a reviewer or a book club member reads your book and doesn’t like it? What do you do when you read a cutting review of the book you toiled over for months (or years)? Or what if a critique partner disses the work you're pouring your heart into?
No writer will please everyone. And, even the best books has some detractors. But the issue lies in how you deal with the criticism. It’s tough to receive negative feedback whether you’re a yet-to-be published author or one who’s had several books printed.
Here are some strategies to deal with the disappointment:
Call your agent/editor/mother/spouse/best friend/significant other and vent your frustration.
Go for a walk.
Take a nap.
Write a private email to your critic if you must. However, if that option is your choice, give it a day or two, and consider praying about the words you'll deliver.
But don’t go and lose it online.
Look at this cautionary tale. Ten years ago, a novelist had a new book out, and she received a less-than-glowing review. Unfortunately, the novelist wasn’t able to dismiss the review as one person’s opinion and move on. Gawker captured all the dirty details. Lashing out on Twitter, the author posted 27 Tweets in response to that review, including posting the contact information for the reviews in hopes that the author's fans would call the reviewer out on the carpet.
Yeah, the ugly details are still out there for anyone to see.
The best course of action when you get a negative review/critique is to say nothing. What’s accomplished in slamming the reviewer for her words? It just doesn’t look professional, even if you think the other party acted poorly.
Take a breath, realize that's one person's opinion, and get back to work.
Write on, friends!