One of the hardest things for a writer to do is to keep faith along their journey toward publication. Little doubts creep in, knowing, tormenting us. These are little tests I believe, trying our patience, our nerves. They can determine where we fall along the way, and how we pick ourselves up again. It’s easy to say that we won’t let bad reviews, critiques, and word-of-mouth get to us, but when we face just that, we can lose our way.
Several times now, I’ve been ready to walk away. It’s hard to distance ourselves from our writing and not think of the words said as an attack on us personally but we must if we are to go on with even a shred of dignity. I’ve thought of myself as a failure, that all I wrote was drivel, that I’d never have what it takes to make it in this business. But I do. So do you.
Let the critique settle a while before you examine its advice. Let it sink in, do its work, show us what we did right and wrong. None of us are perfect. We all get browbeat every now and then. The trick is to walk through the fire unscathed. How do we do this? That little word mentioned above: faith. We have to keep a healthy dose for ourselves in everything we do: from blogging to marketing, to writing and accepting the criticisms when they come.
If you’re going to be tempted to fire off a hot response to criticism, get yourself to take a break (I know, easier said than done.), walk away, and fume aloud to yourself, a trusted friend, a spouse. Talk it out. Then go back and write the nicest response you’re capable of and let things lay. You don’t need to shred someone because they did it to you. Time and effort on your part will prove your critics wrong.
We’re all improving. Every day, we learn something new, overturn the bad. That’s what we need to concentrate on: improving. Let the reports fall by the wayside and remember you’re human. Our first book won’t be as good as our fifteenth, or even our twenty-seventh. I know how easily it is to get the scales tipped in today’s global presence, but we must hold on to our dignity, let the rest fall away. If only to keep a smile on our faces and a less stressful heart.
Faith can indeed move those mountains, if we let it. So borrow a little if you need to, and keep trying, your efforts will pay off, and things will turn gold.