Tuesday, October 20, 2009
On Handling Criticism...by Mindy Friddle
Avoid looking for it.
Stop Googling yourself! Especially late at night when you think no one is looking. You won’t go blind or grow hair on your palms—well, probably not—but it’s habit forming…and after a while, the thrill is gone, anyway. Save your blocks of isolation for writing--not reading about your writing.
Don’t take it personally. What other people think—critics or neighbors—is subjective. Your book, your work, has its own life, its own fate, its own loves and enemies. Your book is not you.
Review books that deserve praise. On blogs, in newspapers. Post glowing five-star reviews for books that deserve it. You’ll send out positive waves. You’ll find out how subjective reviews are—from the reviewer’s side.
All publicity is good publicity. A fellow writer told me that once, and I agree. What’s worse than a scathing review? No reviews. None.
Keep your sense of humor handy. Laugh at the darkness, the hostility, the disappointment, the snarks, the mean spirited.
Be grateful for the positive reviews, the readers who take the time to let you know a book of yours transported them.
Appreciate the reviews that aren’t positive, but are instructive and fair.
I think Aristotle said it best : “Criticism is something we can avoid easily by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.”
Mindy Friddle is the author of THE GARDEN ANGEL (St. Martin's Press/Picador) and SECRET KEEPERS (St. Martin's Press). Visit www.mindyfriddle.com and her blog, Novel Thoughts: On Reading, Writing & the Earth to read excerpts from her novels, interviews with authors, book reviews, and random musings.