When To Pay Attention?

HEY WRITER, do you know when you need to pay attention to negative feedback? And, by extension, when you should just ignore it?

“Flatter me, and I may not believe you.

Criticize me, and I may not like you.

Ignore me, and I may not forgive you.

Encourage me, and I will not forget you.

Love me and I may be forced to love you.”

– William Arthur Ward

Critical people are everywhere. It doesn’t take long to find someone who takes issue with something. It can be rather overwhelming trying to please everyone all the time and, quite honestly, you can’t.

There are plenty of times when negative feedback is simply something you needn’t worry about. Someone else’s opinion of you is none of your business, especially if you didn’t ask for it. There are, however, times when it’s important to pay close attention to the negative feedback you receive. And, as a writer, you will receive negative feedback.

Criticism could be important under certain circumstances. Paying close attention could make all the difference when:

– Someone has authority over you;
– You get the same feedback from multiple people; or
– It comes from someone depending on you.

Under these circumstances, criticism is valuable and should be considered. Here’s why:

When someone has authority over you: Whether it’s a boss, family member, or any other leader who has authority over you, it’s important to pay close attention to any criticisms they may have. For obvious reasons, they may be the ones buying your stories, or with the ability to hire or fire you. But they may also have other positions that could prevent you from succeeding. If someone in authority over you has a negative critique, it’s a good idea to create a plan to correct, or solve, the problem. The goal, of course, is to turn the negative into a positive.

When you hear the same feedback from multiple people: It’s one thing for someone to offer criticism. That doesn’t necessarily mean that there’s an issue you need to address. But if you get three or more people giving you the same or similar criticism, you should probably taking a look and consider what they’re telling you. Taking criticism on board can help you increase your self-awareness and help you consider changes that will make you more successful and help you minimise your negative impact on others.

When criticism comes from someone depending on you: People want to be in relationships with people they know, like, and trust. If you get negative feedback from someone who’s depending on you, like a reader, it’s worth listening to them. Breaking down the trust between people is never a good thing, and as writers, we promise our readers a whole lot. Their trust in us, therefore, is our meat and potatoes. Without it, we’ll only have ourselves to write for. 

Discerning when to consider criticism and when to let it go can help you stop trying to please everybody and focus on the people who matter the most instead. Something that will have a direct impact on your personal happiness.

Questions of the Day:

– Can you tell the difference between criticism you can ignore and criticism you need to consider?

– How much does a reader’s feedback affect you?

Let’s talk in the comments below, or send me your response via socials/email.

Thank you for stopping by today! I hope you had a good time, and I look forward to seeing you again.

All the best,

//Evalena 😘

© Evalena Styf, 2020

The Critique & Reviews Series

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