If your aim happens to be mildly crappy, get someone you trust to point you in the right direction AND THEN blast your flaws out of your world *Hug Kiss Bang Bang*
Try it… Doesn’t that feel good? Told you!
Now that we took care of that, let me tell you about yesterday… A friend and I spent a few hours on the phone discussing life, uncanny practices, upcycled pretties, and the best ways to develop a thick skin in the writing world. She is an awesome storyteller, who creates characters that touch your soul with original intellectual sarcasm, but she is easily affected by criticism.
I’m usually against generalizations, but I will suggest that no writer can say that he or she doesn’t care about how others criticize his or her work. We might react differently to a
soul-crushingreview, but every writer’s muse pouts a bit when someone says, ‘Your writing sucks dishwater.’ And it happens to the best of us. Heck, it even happens to the way better than us.
I once read a review of Gabriel García Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude, which suggested that “the book was poorly written” and “the characters’ motivations were unrealistic.” If you’ve never read the novel, I advise you to give it a try. It’s not a story to be read in one sitting. It’s not even a story to be read only once. But with every chapter, the reader is taken deeper into a world where politics, magical realist humor, war, uncanny traditions, and the brilliance of a great writer touch the mind with the gift of living words.
As you might be imagining, to read that a young writer believed that the book that won Gabriel García Márquez the 1982 Nobel Prize for Literature was “poorly written” made me shake my head for a long time. To add to my bewilderment, the same young writer voted for, wait... *I have to take a few breaths before typing this, one… two… three…* okay, this person voted for Twilight as “the best work of literature ever written.”
So… yes, I didn’t even comment on the young writer’s review. However, I always remember that person’s assessment of One Hundred Years of Solitude whenever I read a review/critique that makes no sense.
I’ve said this much to my writer friend. There will always be people who don’t like what you write, but you can’t let that drive your storytelling. I haven’t had a truly bad review (yet), but I’m almost sure the day will come. When it does, I’ll allow myself to feel bad for a bit, then I’ll focus on all the good things other readers have said and write on…
While I pray for bad reviews to never reach my eyes or ears, I’ll get close and personal with my weaknesses (i.e. fast as lightening pacing, under-describing…) I’ll French kiss them, I’ll embrace them, and then I’ll shoot them to death. I’ll lay them to rest, right next to the nasty feelings evoked by any unfavorable (but unfounded) criticism.
the article attached to this image reinforces my point, but…
I need to admit that I chose it because of the grin on the kid’s face