Taking Criticism

We’ve all been there. Whether it was your mother telling you to not slouch at the dinner table or a teacher chiding you for sending a paper airplane zipping across the classroom, every one of us has experienced criticism at one point or another. Some can ignore it. Some become offended by it. Others takeCriticism, assholes it into consideration.

For a writer submitting work to magazines, small presses, or large publishers, criticism is bound yo land on your doorstep. You can run around crying and screaming while blaming the editor for the supposed insult. You can turn your nose up in the air and assume you know better. Those options might soothe your ego, but you’ll never become published.

If an editor offers criticism, consider yourself lucky! Something might’ve shined through in your writing for that editor to jot down a few notes about the positives and negatives in your work. Those who are published or become published mull over the criticism, return to their manuscript, and revise those mistakes or negatives.

editing-manuscriptOf course you as the writer might not always agree with an editor’s criticism, but at least consider what was pointed out. You as the writer know what’s best for your manuscript, but not heeding advice will stifle your development.


6 thoughts on “Taking Criticism”

  1. I heard one author say that whenever she received a rejection letter, she always sent a thank you letter to that editor. Always—no matter how critical the rejection was. Needless to say, she is a published author and is writing and selling her books successfully.


    1. That is always a good idea. I send back a thank you whenever I receive criticism, but if it is a form letter I don’t bother. The editor only gave his/her opinion, so there is no reason to keep a chip on your shoulder. Digest the opinion, and see if you can use it. I see criticism as a godsend, because it can only help improve your work. And tell your friend I said congrats! 🙂

  2. When editors give me specific criticism, I usually set it aside for a week so I can get my “How dare they?” out of the way. As it turns out, most of the time it’s good advice.

  3. I’ve had some very good learning experiences, with editors who were willing to take the time to point things out to me. It’s easy to call the editor an idiot and send the MS back out, but considering criticism is a crucial skill in becoming a better writer.

    1. It’s always those with open ears that improve their writing and become published. That is my experience, and I hope it also is yours. The positive attitude you have sounds amazing!

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