No matter how well deserved it is, 
It HURTS to be Criticized!

Dealing With Criticism
copyright 2001 by Lin Stone

The important thing is, not to feel you are the only one getting criticized.
Others, and many of them well known,
have smarted in their turn over words hurled at their head.

"Such is my situation that if I were to put the bitterest curse on an enemy this side of the grave I would put him in my place.  I see the impossibility of doing any essential service to the cause by continuing in command, and yet I am told that if I quit the command inevitable ruin will follow from the distractions that will ensue.  In confidence I tell you that I never was in such a divided, unhappy state since I was born."  George Washington.

George Washington was criticized so harshly while in the presidency that he 
left the limelight of public office vowing the press would never have him to kick 
around again.  

The great Mark Twain had many critics too.  

Moby Dick got shot down in flames so badly 
it took 50 years before it became a classic.
.

You can take it for a given fact: 
Somebody on this earth is not going to like what you write either. 

That is one of the lumps in the pudden.

I don't care what kind of writing you do, the more public attention you receive, the more criticism you will find is showered upon you, your work, your stance, and your precepts.

Here is my policy for dealing with critics..

  1. If they are hollering from the bushes with obscure denunciations, gently ignore them. I say gently because even your grand daughter will be listened to by those people too lazy to come see for themselves, thus making one harping fool a worse enemy to have than all the close-lipped Solomons on earth combined.
  2. If their comments are specific enough to evaluate; study their remarks and thank them even for their stinging ridicule, especially if they are right.   All too well do I remember one secretary saying she could write an article better than I had turned in.  I looked at her writing, and she was right.  She could.
  3. If what they say actually helps, pat them on the back, and ask for more as soon as you can take it.
  4. Remember my epigram: The only thing worse than being criticized is finding out nobody cared enough to correct me.

You've seen those signs on back of trucks saying:  "Tell me how I'm driving."  That's the sign of a very insecure driver, constantly needing reassurance from everyone on the road that they are doing things at least halfway right.

Don't ever depend on non professionals to evaluate how well your stories drive. 

In fact, if you believe in your work with all your heart, don't let ANYone's good or bad evaluation deter you from that belief. 

On the other hand, If you need help and know it, don't be afraid to ask.

Click HERE for a whole book of excellent advice for writers, about writing and selling what you write.I constantly hear the advice to QUIT rewriting your work when you have invested all the time in it that you can afford.  That is like producing a half-baked potato.  Do that consistently and chances are you will end up working for editors so far down the food chain they have to like it or lump it.

The advice to quit when the bell rings may be true for the polished writer, but the only way I have found to become a polished writer is to keep on rewriting anything you produce until you are a polished writer.  Even after you are selling much of what you write, my experience says to come back to rewrite what you have already sold until you are proud of it. 

In order to become a great writer
strive for greatness in all that you write.
Writers get better with age 
only if they push themselves to get better as they age. 

You can write quicker, faster, and better by drilling yourself to get better at spotting what needs rewriting, before you put it down on paper.  Soon the words you write in the first draft will be truer to your higher self than the words you produced only after the many rewrites you did in the beginning of your career.

Twelve year old Caitlyn came to visit for a week and we pulled out all the stops to put on a good show.  We took her to shows, We took her to Robber's Cave.  We took her to see the rune stone at Heavener.  We took her shopping, and spent time with her we did not have to spare.  When Caitlyn went home she left a note behind to let me know just how much she appreciated my efforts to show her a good time. 

You don't care about nature, really.  You're just looking for stories to write.

Those stories about your childhood would make anyone fall asleep.

You could make enough money to buy another car if you'd quit writing and go to work.

You are deaf, and you are stupid.

Without Grandma around, you couldn't even begin to take care of yourself.

You couldn't sing even if you tried.  Why don't you shut up?

If I were Grandma I would shoot you.

UHHH, Yeah.

Should You Spend A few dollars a month for dental protection that you can use Right Now or wait and spend $3,000 for dentures?  Your teeth were meant to last a lifetime.  With regular brushing and flossing, you will look happy and successful long after your prime.  All you probably need is one of the dental insurance plans that covers the cost of regular check-ups and cleanings. However, if hereditary teeth problems plague your family you should consider one of the plans which also covers the cost of dentures somewhere down the line.  Here is another Smart Tip: Shop before you buy.  

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MORE tips on the way. Write for the Big Screen  Writing Tips   Free Plots  More Free Plots  Psychological Plots and storytelling Strategies  Get the free electronic book, Tips For Writers.  Not only is it free, you can make as many copies as you want and send them to all your friends.

The Horror Writers Association has a goodly assortment of tips for their members, many of which apply to all us other writers.  

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Productivity begins by recognizing and valuing your brilliance, time, and space. It starts with awareness of what works and what does not. It continues with examining what needs grease, or other needs. Search for the truth for what you need in order to rev up your writing.  

copyright 2005 by
Marleen K. Roberts
1303 Hamilton
Mena, AR, 71953