How do you deal with criticism?


As I new writer I have done something that will probably have all you seasoned novelists covering your face and shaking your head in despair. I (whispers) showed my first draft to someone to get an opinion.  Not just someone either. My sister. Much as I love her she is always guaranteed to call a spade a spade. I knew that, but I did it anyway.

Attempting my first piece of writing over 100 words has been overwhelming. I love to read books but trying to create one, well, if you’ve tried, you know. I never thought it would be easy but, shrugs.

So I plotted, created characters and wrote and at 15,000 words broke into a cold sweat. Did this make any sense? Was it engaging? Could I do this?  Even though this was a rough first draft I guess I wanted validation that I had something worth developing, worth all the hours, the waking at 3 am to tweak the plot or finish the chapter.

I emailed it over to my sister. I knew I could rely on her to be totally honest with me. And she was. ‘It’s so depressing it made me want to slit my wrists and not carry on reading. Oh and I don’t like your language.’

Hmmm ok. Let’s not point out that I haven’t actually reached the really sad bit in the middle yet.

I know she is trying to support me and I appreciate her help. I will take her comments on board and am sure that when I have finished wiping my tears off the keyboard I will carry on. Next time I ask for an opinion I will keep the following words in mind: –

“Don’t let people’s compliments go to your head and don’t let their criticism go to your heart”.

So, how do you deal with criticism – constructive or otherwise?