Here is another marvellous post from Nicola Morgan’s ‘Help! I Need a Publisher’ blog, this time on how to respond to criticism.
“[The writer] continued by explaining that the person giving her feedback had said lots of positive things but had suggested that x and y should be changed, but that she’d actually got a publishing deal and x and y were retained. Therefore, the person giving the feedback was wrong.
Oh goshy goshy gosh. And feckity gosh all over again.”
It’s talking about writers, of course, but the advice actually applies to anyone who ever gets feedback about anything – everyone in other words! You should read the whole thing, because as always Nicola whacks the nail firmly on the head.
It’s quite pertinent to me at the moment. Just this week my beloved WIP has gone to reviewers for the first time. Friendly ones to begin – fiancée, family, friends – but there’s still a slight frisson of trepidation about what they’re going to come back with. After that round of editing it’s off to a professional, and that’s where the gloves will really come off!
I’m generally pretty thick-skinned, so I think I’ll be fine. I’m also a realist; this is my first novel. There are going to be things that need changing. Possibly quite fundamental things. I may well be several months further from being ready to publish than I think I am. Oh no! Right?
Wrong. That’s fine. I’m not in a rush. I’m going to damn well wait until this book is the best I can make it before I send it out into the world – first impressions count after all. And to make it its best I know I’m going to have to take the nasty with the nice – it’d be ridiculous to ignore any feedback which could help. Especially when I’m paying for it!
Or as Nicola so neatly says: “If I value someone’s opinion I cannot only value it when it suits me.”
How do you respond to criticism, readers? Openly and appreciatively? Or with fingers firmly in ears?