Writing Every Which Way

Novels, poems, and writing tips

Handling Your Critics

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If you’re a writer, then you’ve had someone criticize your writing.

Everyone probably has their own methods to handling criticism, but I’m here to ramble about my opinions so I’m going to do so!

SOOOOO, to handle critics, the first thing you should know is:

You Can’t Get Angry

The majority of the time critics are trying to help you improve. Yes, there are those jerks out there who just want to get under your skin, but you have to assume that isn’t the case.

You’re going to need to respond to your ‘criticizer’, so you need to be put together when you do so. If possible, wait until your anger has dimmed down and then go on to the next step of answering them.

Don’t Argue

The more you argue with your critic, the worse it’s going to get. You’re simply going to be very very annoyed. Plus, if you annoy your critic they’ll probably never help you again.

So, when you answer you’re going to have to try to find a way to agree with them.

Agree With The Point They’ve Made

Just because you agree with their point doesn’t mean you have to change anything. I’m just saying that you should at least consider their opinion.

As long as the critic believes you’re thinking about what they’ve said, they’ll be a lot nicer to you.

That is, unless what they’ve suggested is EXTRODINARILY dumb, then you can just skip this step. You still can’t argue with them, but you should go straight into stating your reasons.

State Your Reasoning

Once you’ve buttered them up by agreeing, you can now state the reason for why you did what you did (I’m talking specifically about writing, but this advice can work for anyone).

Tell your critic civilly why things were done as they were. Maybe you just didn’t make your point entirely clear or maybe they don’t agree with one of your philosophies.

If one of your philosophies is put in question, then tell them it’s your own opinion. Your opinions are your own and you don’t have to let people try to change you if you don’t want them to.

Meanwhile, simply stating your reasoning is a low-key version of fighting back.

I know that when someone critiques my work, I suddenly go on a rampage. I want to flip out on them for having the nerve to judge me.

UGH *Metaphorically flips desk*.

So, when I state my reason, I feel like I’m showing them that they can’t walk all over me. They may have an opinion, but I don’t entirely give a crap. Here’s what I originally meant in the writing.

Thank Them For Their Response

As much as we hate being criticized, we also love it. It means people are reading our work and paying close attention to something we did. Humans thrive off attention, so you’re secretly grateful for their response, no matter how much it makes you want to flip a desk.

Show Them You Can Do Better

Maybe the work they read was a little iffy and you do agree with the things they said about it. Your ego may be slightly bruised, but you know you can do better.

Refer them to another work you did that you’re pretty darn proud of. This can save your image in that critics mind and let you sleep a little better at night.

Sometimes one piece just isn’t as good as it could be. Writers have good and bad days, too.


Author: Madi Uram

I'm just another young writer hoping to get noticed in the world of publication. The majority of my time is put into writing novels, but I'm no stranger to journalism, playwriting, and critical essay's, too. I'm also the author of "The Little Paragons" which can be found on Amazon.com.

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