Receiving Criticism – How to improve instead of surrendering

The Mill’s first 1 star review, it finally happened! But I’m not sad. You can never please everyone, it’s just not possible. I’m very glad that this was not my first review of The Mill – that may have been a little soul crushing – but all the same, her opinions and views are valid and potentially helpful to other readers.

I respect Evelyn all the more for her honesty, she truly hated my novella! And that’s fine, because she does not hate me as a writer/human being (I hope >_>).

Most reviewers are not interested in attacking you personally – and if they are, you know who not to talk to anymore. Evelyn was pretty brutal with her assessment, but only because she wants to see the work improve. Who wants to read a shitty book? No one! While it makes me nervous now that everyone will feel this way about my work, I’m not disheartened. This is an exemplary learning opportunity.

Step one to Learning

Identify if the criticism is coming from your target audience. If the answer is no, probably take it with a grain of salt, but still investigate. If the answer is yes, write down all of the points in the criticism that the reviewer mentioned as unpleasurable to them.

Next up

As unbiasedly as humanly possible, take all of the points and reread your work. Write down where you notice what the reviewer mentioned, then postulate on how to fix the issues.

Keep a running list of complaints

If your work is being called out for a few specific things, again and again, it’s likely time to take a hard visit on that matter.

Request pointers directly from the reviewer

If you have a decent relationship with the reviewer, it would be a good idea to really pick their brain on the matter. Get what they really wanted from the book out into the open. However, changing your work based on one person’s feedback is something I would not advise. Simply keep it in mind for the future.

And now, for the best piece of advice I’ve ever given…

Listen, learn, deploy a plan of action, and then release any feelings that you had on the matter whatsoever. It’s not worth allowing your personal life/sleep/eating habits to suffer from stuff like this. It hurts, I know… but one cannot dwell on the past.
That’s all for tonight kiddies ^_^ have a wonderful evening.
If you’re interested in seeing what Evelyn had to say, here is her review:

Published by The Astral Scribe

I'm a baller. Keyboard crawler. 20 inch display, on my ink scrawler. Holler. Getting flayed tonight, all my characters getting splayed tonight! In my spare time I love to cook, hike, play video games, and spend quality time with my people.

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