How writers should handle criticism

I don’t understood anything in the sciences, but to rewrite what I think is a maxim from physics, “For every action there is an equal and opposite criticism.” By that I mean for every good review a writer gets there will also be a bad review. No artist wants negative reviews; to lay their soul bare only to have the soul skewered, stomped on, ridiculed, and to have their heart pierced by the slings and arrows of outrageous criticism.

I read of an artist, I can’t remember who, but I think it was a writer, who said he did not mind bad reviews. His feeling was that most books never got reviewed and for him to have someone read his book and to review it meant it was good enough to be talked about, even with negativity, because most books are ignored. He is a courageous soul.

My three e-books do not have a high volume of sales, but they have gotten good reviews, though one to four reviews is certainly a small sampling. I do not know who wrote them, but they are certainly intelligent people. I was more afraid in the beginning when I placed my books on Amazon that I would get bad reviews. I was not concerned about sales. Getting a few good reviews to me means I am doing something right.

I am not sure in todays age where anyone can write a review, how that aforementioned writer would feel. Reviewing is no longer the domain of intelligentsia, but has moved into the digital world with egalitarianism. Anyone can post a review. It is fair because everyone has an opinion, but it also opens itself up to paid reviews, reviews from friends and well wishers, and also from people who just like posting bad reviews because they like to trash people, finding amusement in being the bad guy.

The best a writer can do is take the good with the bad, do your best to be objective in reading both, and remember, whether good or bad, it is just one voice in the crowd. Or do what some do and don’t read them. In the end keep writing to your voice and not to the crowd. A writer should be far from the maddening crowd anyway.



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Filed under dalies, e-book publishing, Uncategorized, writing

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