3 simple truths about criticism we often forget


Rejection. Bad review. Returned papers and manuscripts. All these essentially we consider as a bad news. And it’s not fun to experience it. You feel naked and exposed, your heart is pounding, probably you are blushing and even feel embarrassed. “How did this happen“, you might slur for a second, but the only thing you can actually think of is how hurt, disappointed and discouraged at the moment you are.

Today I want to share with you a different look at the criticism that might help you deal with these situations easier in the future.

I believe, the first and foremost thing we need to do is to accept that it is simply inevitable –  there is very small likelihood that everybody will like and approve of your writing. As we are able to appreciate praise for our work so there is also the other side of the coin: we need to face there is always a chance that someone will not find our work suitable.

The second truth we often forget is that there is nothing personal about it. There is no conspiracy against you and your work. Nobody hates your poems and your stories are not boring. But the problem here is that we as writers always offer something that is part of us – thoughts, emotions or knowledge. Any criticism that comes our way, we might translate as a personal attack – to some point that many writers give up creating at all.

One simple thought that helped me a lot at the beginning of my academic career is that any professor, writer or reviewer of my work was also a beginner. He was also rejected and criticized. With years, I managed to write and work with many people I admired as a student. But it takes time and persistence.

Another thing I learned along the way is to differentiate constructive criticism and when someone is just plain rude. These are two completely opposite things: constructive criticism is oriented towards offering helpful insights and advice, while when someone just bashes your work to satisfy their own ego issues – well these type of people you want to avoid completely. These are all merely opinions and you always have the opportunity to explore the source – where is this criticism coming from, is it really applicable to your work, how reviewer /editor is really competent to analyze your type of work. And from that point decide how to accept or deal with criticism.

The third truth that will serve you the most is – take what you can from that experience and simply let go. In order to continue writing and creating, this is the crucial step. If you got honest feedback about your work, take a step back and think how it can help you in your future work; how you can use it to improve your writing and creativity.

Any negative situation is your chance to learn and grow. You are the only one in charge of your self-confidence, so keep writing.

If you liked this post, please share. And, If you you are interested in getting more inspiration for your creativity, writing and personal growth, sign up for our free monthly newsletter. For additional tips, follow us on twitter and connect with us on facebook.


3 secrets to turn your fear of rejection into a mastery of productivity


Work that is rejected: one of the writer’s worst nightmares. It simply happens that we sometimes put hours, weeks, months and even years into our writing, but it keeps being rejected all over again. And very soon there is a background ‘cheering’ voice: “I completely suck! I should quit writing, there is no use. I’m just losing my time!”

And what to do then? Should we quit writing all together? Just sit in the corner and complain over our bad luck? Or is there something we can do to turn that process and experience into something positive and productive? Looking from psychological point of you, expert John Amodeo, PhD claims:

On a cognitive level, we may be afraid that rejection confirms our worst fear — perhaps that we’re unlovable, or that we’re destined to be alone, or that we have little worth or value. When these fear-based thoughts keep spinning in our mind, we may become agitated, anxious, or depressed.

A big part of our fear of rejection may be our fear of experiencing hurt and pain. Our aversion to unpleasant experiences prompts behaviors that don’t serve us.

Being human, we long to be accepted and wanted. It hurts to be rejected and to experience loss”

Further more, accepting that feeling of failure that is true for us can have a completely counter effect on our whole being, driving us away from what we are passionate about, what keeps us alive. It negatively impacts our health, our relationships and our life in general. How to turn all that experience into an opportunity to grow?

  1. Acknowledge your fear of rejection

Once we acknowledge that there is a fear residing within us, that our work at this time maybe is not at its best-this is actually a first step to combat fear in positive way. By accepting that this fear doesn’t serve us, opens the door for us to move through that fear and explore what’s on the other side. By having that more gentle, kind and less criticizing relationship with our feelings that appear as a result of rejection,  we can “reset” our creative self more quickly and seize the opportunity hidden within our fear.

  1. It’s a part of the process that every writer has to go through.

Nobody is born as an excellent writer. Every writer has to work on their writing craft, refining their style, improving and editing every word they write. It takes time, courage and a lot of effort –  it’s simply a continuous work in progress.

Joshua F. Millburn in his essay How to improve your writing: 3 tips says that if your want to improve your writing: ”Sit in the chair.” Sounds to easy?

These four words changed my life. For a long time, I was an aspiring writer—which meant I didn’t write much. Sure, I aspired daily, but I didn’t make writing a priority. Instead, I spent time passively parked in front of glowing screens: watching TV, perusing Facebook, checking email. I didn’t become a writer until I developed a writing habit. People don’t learn how to write via osmosis; it takes work. So forget word count or page count—focus instead on sitting in the chair distraction-free, writing for at least an hour a day. Do this for a month and you will improve more than you thought possible.

  1. By embracing your rejection graciously, you are already improving your writing.

Once we become grateful for our experiences, we are more able to let go. It gives us clarity and our willingness to learn and put additional effort comes to forefront. Give back yourself permission to enjoy writing. It fuels our persistence to improve ourselves, not only in writing. No matter how many rejection letters pile up, you can use them to improve your skills. And not only will you improve skills, you readiness to write under certain conditions will improve: time you need to write something with a deadline; you get better acquainted with the writing market and that will shorten your time you need to do the research. You become familiar with your fear and with ease you recognize possible mistakes you can mitigate on time.

With each rejection you learn how to be better – as the quality of your writing improves, so does your efficiency.

How do you deal with rejection? Does it impact your writing? Please, share your experience in the comments below.

If you liked this post and you are interested in getting more inspiration for your creativity, sign up for our free bimonthly newsletter.