How to cope with criticism.

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Carol has a moment of self doubt. photo: Radical Honey

Ok, so what happens when you send your chapters to the agent and they don’t fall in love with them? If you’re like me you go through a whole range of emotions.

For one, you ignore all the positive comments and just focus on the negative ones. Yes, this is because the negative is easier to believe but also because the positive comments you don’t need to do anything about and the negative ones you do.

Then you get depressed. You think, you can’t do this thing, write, after all. The first book was a fluke. Maybe it’s just a terrible idea and you should give it up and do something else.

Then, over the next few days you remember why you wanted to write this book in the first place. That you love this story, that you have things you want to say to the world through it. That you have been enjoying writing the whole thing so, so much, until now.

Then your story becomes like a child that you’ve invested in and, even though it’s gone off the rails, you still believe in it and want to do your best by it. So you take a deep breath, sit down with it and begin to look at what needs to be done to improve things.

It’s a lot of work. You will need to start again, right at the beginning. Slow down, stop the headlong dash to get to the end and set out on a new course. And so you begin…again.

Through all this I still know what a privilege it is for a professional to take the time to read and really think about my work and offer truthful and helpful advice. This is where I take heart that I have wriggled my way onto the next rung of the ladder.

I’ve been in the other place. The one where you send your chapters off and get no feedback. I have been in that place many times and now I’m in this other place. The place of the soon to be published author where you can call your agent and they sound happy to hear from you and take the time to really go over what you’ve written.

Only time and hard work has got me there and that determination is what is needed now.

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2 thoughts on “How to cope with criticism.

  1. Don’t doubt yourself, Carol you are a great writer even through your letters you can see that. Can’t wait to read the first of many publications coming soon
    Love you Lindy xxx

    • Hi Lindy, It’s a bit odd when your sister reads about your writers angst. I’m quite ok and buoyant really. Hope you got my latest letter.
      love
      Carol xxxx

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