CRITIQUE & REVIEWS
No love, you’re not alone. Every single storyteller, every single creator, gets bad reviews. Granted, some get more than others, but generally speaking, we all get our confidence knocked down a peg or two every now and then. But it doesn’t have to be the end of the world. And just because someone said you suck, it doesn’t necessarily make them right.
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Yes, being criticised can trigger all sorts of feelings and reactions. When it happens, it may feel like a giant spotlight has been trained on you, and the whole world is scrutinising you looking for flaws and shortcomings. The truth is, the vast majority don’t give a rat’s arse about you or your reviews. And bad reviews can actually get you more readers.
If you can get used to the criticism, or at least accept that it’s part of a creative’s life, it can help reduce your anxiety and make it easier to roll with the punches. It may also help to think about successful writers and other successful people who have been rejected, given bad reviews or found themselves in the centre of massive online shitstorms.
COLONEL HARLAND SANDERS
Colonel Harland Sanders was 65 years old and retired before he began his journey to create his Kentucky Fried Chicken empire. He was rejected 1,009 times before someone said yes to helping him develop and promote his fried chicken recipe.
THOMAS ALVA EDISON
Thomas Alva Edison was ridiculed by his teachers and told he was “too stupid to learn anything.” Despite the criticism, Edison went on to hold over 1,000 patents and is credited with creating the light bulb and the phonograph.
Walt Disney is revered as a man of imagination. His legacy, Disneyland, still hosts nearly 44,000 people per day at what has been described as the Happiest Place on Earth. Prior to his success, Disney was fired for not being creative enough and had ventures that ended in bankruptcy.
Vera Wang had high hopes of becoming an Olympian. When those hopes were dashed because she couldn’t make the team, she had to find a plan B. As a world-renowned designer, she overcame critical feedback that crushed her dreams to create a new path and flourish.
Novelist Stephen King wrote his first book, Carrie, which was rejected so many times he threw it away. Luckily, his wife retrieved the book and encouraged him to keep trying. Today, King has written nearly 300 stories, many of which have become major movies. He has won countless awards and hasn’t looked back.
YOU HAVE TO KEEP WRITING
In the heat of the moment, rejection can feel very personal and isolating, but as you can see above, you’re in excellent company. We all face rejection from time to time. We all get criticized for something. The main thing to remember is that you can learn and grow from the experience and that you should never let it stop you.
If you want to be a writer, there’s only one way to get there. You have to keep writing! The next time you feel the sting of criticism, remind yourself that you’re not alone. And let the words flow.
Question of the Day:
– What’s the worst rejection or criticism you’ve had to deal with?
Please, slide into the comments below and let’s talk. As usual, start with “ANONYMOUS” if you don’t want us to publish your name.
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Evalena Styf is a knowsy roll model and prolific content creator who lives in a queen size bed in the outskirts of London, UK, with a doggo, two cats and a personal assistant.
After 25+ years of anonymous blogging on a number of free platforms, she decided to go pro in 2017. Since then, she’s been working on getting all of her texts edited and put on display in the imaginary pirate ship she’s named after one of her most prominent character traits: Resilience.
Evalena primarily writes non-fictional texts about personal and professional development, living the dream, and how to keep on living and loving when everything around you seems to be falling apart.