It occurred to me yesterday as I sat weeping on my couch folding laundry that I might be a little bit more emotional than the average gal. Maybe I should back up here and give you guys a little background.
It all started with a rather innocuous comment from my husband.
What my husband actually said: "Wow, it's getting hard for me to work around your schedule these days."
What Lisa heard: "You are not a good mother. Your time is not important. Your writing sucks. I think we should get a divorce."
Yeah, I'm slightly dramatic. Deal with it.
The thing is, writers are a sensitive breed. I guess that's part of our genius. We process feelings a little bit differently than the average person and *ahem* some of us are blessed with an extraordinary flair for drama.
I think this makes it particularly hard for us to accept constructive feedback from readers, agents and editors. For example:
Reader says: "I don't really understand this character's motivation. Maybe you should add some backstory?"
Writer hears: "Your writing sucks. Your characters suck. You shouldn't be writing anything more challenging than an e-mail."
Learning how to process feedback is probably one of the most important elements of becoming a successful writer. We all need to learn to take a step back and really hear what our readers our saying. This is one reason it's probably best to ask your beta readers to provide any notes or feedback in writing. After all, it's ok if you want to weep on the couch for a little while, just make sure you eventually force yourself out of the fetal position and really process that critique. Your writing (and maybe even your significant other) will thank me.
So, how do you guys handle tough critiques? Any advice for keeping those writerly emotions in check? Tell us everything in the comments.
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