Hearing any criticism of your writing is never easy, but it can work to your advantage. All you need is to develop a thick skin and an open mind as you consider these tips.
The most important part of handling criticism is to listen to what is being said. Your critics have a reason for saying what they have to say; you need to know what that is. Even if you disagree with their criticisms, there is almost certainly something you can take away from it that will make you a better writer.
Consider the Source
Nothing you write will appeal to everyone. You can create an objectively great work of literature, yet there will be someone out there who doesn’t understand it or can’t relate to it. While these people can still offer some great advice, their critiques won’t be as valuable to you as someone who writes within your genre or niche.
Focus on the Positives
It’s easy to get discouraged after hearing negative critiques of your work, focusing on the good things that people have to say. Not only will it give you the self-esteem boost you’ll probably need, but it can be just as valuable as any constructive criticism. Positive feedback shows you what you’ve been doing right and is an excellent sign that you should keep going even if your work isn’t perfect.
Don’t Take it Personally
Negative criticism can hurt, but you can’t let it get to you. If you find yourself getting discouraged, take a step back, and think about what is being said. After the initial shock has worn off and you’ve had time to cool off, you might see the criticism in a new light. Maybe the person giving it was the wrong person to give advice. Perhaps they were trying to be constructive. Maybe you’ll take a look at what you’ve written and realize they were right. In any case, you can’t take it as a personal attack. You might have the occasional mean-spirited jerk trying to tear you down, but you shouldn’t worry about having to please those kinds of people anyway.
Writers are always improving, and criticism should be taken as another opportunity for you to improve. It’s a useful tool, one that can serve you well if you let it.