At the beginning of this year you might’ve found a little bird sitting on your shoulder and tweeting new book ideas for the coming year. As cheery and prosperous as the chipper bird’s song made you feel, self manufactured doubt seeped in-between the delightful choruses regardless – it’s a demon we all face at the beginning, climax, and finale of any story.
This delusional sabotage we, as writers, create is inevitable. Writing is a solitary job, done over endless hours of seclusion and sleep deprivation. Indecision plagues us from the first words to hit the page until the final period completing it. By the end of a manuscript, hope of crafting a stupendously superb story taunts us back into the light where civilized people still dwell. That becomes short lived.
Someone has to read it now.
Fear and trepidation prevent us from handing off our newly crafted baby to an unknown critic for review. Your critic may come in the form of a family member, close friend, or one of the big review companies. Whichever course you take it still leaves behind unconscious twitches of anxiousness on your face awaiting word of what they thought. It should have accrued to you that coffee might not be a good thing to drink while someone dissects your wordsmith skills like a mortician with a dull scalpel and fogged over spectacles. What you should be doing is questioning your inner-self as to why this net of frightful mien is consuming you. It’s unfounded. So far only one person has read the manuscript thoroughly: you.
Critics, reviewers, and their ilk will always draw out the worst in a author. There is a way to stop the painful anticipation of hearing that thunderous judgmental hammer strike at the end of being reviewed. Continue writing. Sounds so simple: right?
Remember, hearing any kind of feedback gives you the best chance to succeed. Why? Even bad news improves your skill. In today’s time, we expect instant gratification, someone to stroke our ego and bloat our heads with false claims to keep from hurting us. As writers we need – and at times crave – to hear what went wrong. If we don’t rejection letters from large publishing houses will bury us where we sit blindly typing another supposedly great piece of work.
My word of advice – listen to everything everyone says. We learn from mistakes and writing puts some of us too many chapters deep into a story where what happened in the beginning has been long forgotten. Bad reviews are not the end of the world; they begin a new understanding of storytelling.
Don’t let bad or indifferent reviews drag you down. You topple your own success by burying your head in negative feedback. Take them for what they’re worth and grow from it. You control what’s on the next page in your story – now turn it and see what’s coming up next. Believe.