Handling Negative Comments

Posted: March 25, 2016 in Creative WRiting
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Writing Tips and Tricks

So, I’m about to touch onto something that all writers who put their work out there to be seen have to deal with. It’s the thing that frightens us, and the thing that quite often keeps us silent and insecure, when we should be proud of all that we can accomplish.

It’s the negative comment.

I’m not talking about constructive criticism. I’m actually a huge fan of that. I think that we have to strive to take criticism, to hear notes, to want to improve ourselves. The moment that we can’t hear constructive criticism is the moment that we stop wanting to improve ourselves as writers. No… I’m talking about the negative comment – the condescending reader – the brash brutes who want to tell us how bad we are without actually delving into how we could improve. These people don’t know what a compliment sandwich is. These people exist to be negative, and generally without an intelligent reason behind it.

We all have to deal with it. At least once in our lives, someone is going to tear us down with no actual logic behind it. It’s just something that, as a writer, you have to deal with. I did. Just today.

It took me aback, because it’s been a long time since I’ve had someone just throw a condescending “Well, this is cliche – maybe you’ll prove me wrong” or anything else of the sort in my face. Worded properly, insults can cut like a knife. Worded properly, for just a moment, an insult can send a writer spiraling into an existential crisis of self. Am I cliche? Am I a bad writer? Should I stop? Should I give up? 

The only thing that you should do is not listen to the person who comes at you with a purely negative opinion. They’re allowed to have it. It can even be valid, to them. But you have to remember that you cannot please everyone. You can’t even please almost everyone. Someone is always going to sit in the corner with a frown, and that’s okay. The most important person that you write for is yourself – never forget that.

Now, if writing for yourself isn’t enough… take a step back. Usually, if you’re putting yourself out there so that people can see you, you are getting some form of positive encouragement. You probably have people leaving positive comments, clicks, kudos, favorites, whatever if you’re posting online where people can see. You have friends who are there to hold you up when people try to beat you down. If you weren’t before, you are now. You’re fucking brave as hell for doing that – it takes a special kind of person to release their words into the wild with the full knowledge that there are wolves waiting to tear you apart. Ignore the wolves – make coats out of their luscious pelts to warm you in the winter. You’re doing something that they probably weren’t brave enough to do themselves. You’re a writer, and no one can take that away from you. Your story is something that only you can tell – even if you’re telling the same damn story that someone else told… because only you can put it in your words. Only you can see the world through your eyes and translate it into a tale for others to revel in.

Even The Most Popular Authors In The World Get Negative Comments.

Don’t let the negative get you down, because I promise, there’s always another side to the coin. There is always the positive. So accentuate the positive xD Eliminate the Negative.

 

Yeah. I just did that. Point being, don’t let the negative get you down. If it’s not done in a fashion that’s meant to help you improve, it’s not something that you need to pay attention to. ❤ You keep doing you. You’re amazing.

 

Until next time,

Author Amanda McCormick

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Comments
  1. Great post. A bad comment,(that, like you said, isn’t constructive criticism is incredibly hurtful and harmful), but I think the best thing a writer can do is ignore it, replying would only end badly for the writer.

    • If you actually deign to reply, you end up just getting more frustrated. Of course, sometimes you do end up having friends riding in to save the day, and that’s always a good feeling. That just goes along with what I was trying to lay out in the post – pay attention to the positive, and the useful. The negative is never that important, anyway.

  2. Reblogged this on The Biggest Minutiae! and commented:
    Amanda McCormick brings up an important notion in this “Weekend Redirect:” how to handle criticism. Not constructive critiques, but full on “you suck” verbal assaults.

    Read on to learn her excellent suggestions which DON’T feature a kick to the sternum or slowly walking away from an explosion.

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