Wednesday, December 5, 2012

IWSG: Compliments


Why is it so hard to believe the good stuff? I never do - NEVER - not when it comes to writing. If a CP writes a positive note, I think, "That was very sweet of her to say." If a CP writes something negative, I immediately jump to the conclusion that I'm the world's worst writer and should quit now before I waste years of my life chasing a pipe dream I'll never reach. This is immediately followed by many glasses of wine and days of moping until I get around to slowly building myself up again realizing that I'm not the WORLD'S worst writer - that's silly. Surely someone out there sucks more than I do.

It's almost worse if that comment is constructive or makes a really good point. If I actually agree with a CP's negative comment, then it's so much harder to write her off as a jerk who feels inferior by my stellar writing skills and only wants to rip me apart to make herself feel better...OR (an even better excuse)...He's just an idiot who just doesn't get me, my writing, my characters and how much time I spent perfecting the scene he's riping apart. (Just to be clear - aka in case they are reading this post - I actually LOVE my CPs and Betas to death - especially when they rip me apart).

Is anyone actually able to wallow in all of the positive feedback and not feel totally crushed when they hear something negative? If so, what's your secret?

26 comments:

  1. It is so hard to accept feedback no matter whther positive or negative, I feel... Yet we constantly ask for it!

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  2. I'm like you, Kimberly... I almost never believe the good feedback I hear. I'll think, "Oh, they're just saying that because they like me" or "Oh, they just don't want to hurt my feelings." But I think that kind of mindset harms us just as much as the other extreme, which is being completely arrogant and not believing any negative stuff. I'm still struggling to find a happy balance. Wine definitely helps, though! LOL.

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  3. I've gotten A LOT better at accepting hard criticism. I just rewrote my entire novel at the suggestion of a beta reader, gave it back to the beta reader, who said your novel is 10x better but here are 9 pages of notes. I don't even flinch any more when she tells me things. The good feedback though is the hardest for me to hear... lol I think it is bc I am so used to getting harsh criticism about this manuscript that that is easier to take than the nice stuff... For me, chocolate helps ;-)

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  4. Oh Kimberly-- I just, no I am, going through all of this and can completely relate. One CP's feedback was tough, but spot-on and fair, and so I have no choice but to reconsider my current MS and do a lot of work. Wanna split a bottle of wine? I'll bring some good chocolate too.

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  5. I can handle it because my critique partners infuse so much of it with humor and snark. That really helps!

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  6. Yes! Putting ourselves out there is so hard, and it's easier to think we're horrible rather than good. That's our mistake, quite often we are better than we think we are. But, we still need to keep our heads level and grow from our writing. Hard to accept those compliments, but important we see our worth!

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  7. It's so difficult, we must allows ourselves to believe the good comments if we are going to be believe in the bad!

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  8. The trick is to keep a couple of yes men (or yes betas) close by, ones that are blissfully ignorant of all your ms's problems. Their periodic lifts make the negative easier to swallow. And watch out for negative nellies. When it's clear a reader isn't connecting with your MC or story in general their feedback is no longer objective. Address why they are not connecting before you take all their destructive crticism as gospel.

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  9. We writers are extra hard on ourselves, so biting criticism cuts even deeper. Every time that happens, I read over some original reviews of The Hobbit, I've saved for years. Critics absolutely hated the book when it first came out and even accused Tolkien of plagiarizing Lewis Carrol.

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  10. Well, you know, you could just skip the feedback phase. That makes it easier.

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  11. I don't know how to quash the ups-and-downs of authoring, but I do like wine!

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  12. Saying hello from IWSG... I hear what you're saying. Occasionally, when someone gives positive feedback, I might wonder if they're just trying to be nice. But when someone gives negative feedback, I don't usually wonder if the person is just trying to be mean. Maybe that's why we feel the way we do...Although certainly there are individuals who do try to be nice and not-so-nice when they critique anything...

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  13. No, not really! Hah hah hah. If you figure out how, you'll have to let me know!

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  14. You're an awesome writer!

    I know it always takes like twenty positives to make up for one tiny negative feedback. The negative ones seems to be extra sticky :(

    Believe the good feedback cause you deserve it!

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  15. Just say thank you. Chances are decent if they love a part of your writing enough to tell you about it, they are sincere. Even if you don't believe it, say thank you and move on :)

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  16. It's nice to get positive feedback, but the editor won't be kind, so I'd prefer negative, constructive feedback to work on.

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  17. Trust in yourself, Kimberly ... TRUST in our writing.... CP's who are sincere will be honest. TRUST in them. We all have trigger points. It's normal to feel the way you do. But try and take a deep breath and step back. Put all emotions aside.

    Also after you read the comments, wait a few days and reread them. You will be amazed how different they will be to you.

    And if you can, read comments when the stress of the day has left you. Don't read comments if you had the day from hell. Calm and thoughtful comment reading is much more productive.

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  18. I'll definitely let you know after I've passed that stage... it's a frightening thought...

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  19. Not me. One day I get a comment declaring love. The next, not so much. And I'm crushed the other person doesn't declare love, too. You're definitely not alone.

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  20. I too prefer to get tough comments when I'm working in my drafts. I think very nicely and thank the good comments but I know there are many things to improve, so I tend to trust the negative ones. Now, when the book is published and out there things change. In that case I much rather have the positive feedback and feel pretty much crushed at throat cutters.

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  21. Negative is so hard to hear, and I think it's because we love our stories. Not because we think they're perfect but because we created them. Kind of like our kids. Our kids certainly aren't perfect, yet we love them with a fierce kind of love. We guide them and help them along the way, so think of those who are providing feedback on writing as parents. They love you and your writing but are guiding you too.

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  22. I have no suggestions on how to accept (and really incorporate into our schema) positive comments. I think I'm right beside you when it comes to people saying nice things. I always wonder what bad things they aren't telling me. :P

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  23. After the initial shock and let-down, I try to consider what has been said, and use it to improve my writing.

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  24. Compliments are always nice, but I'm a glutton for punishment and like to hear what someone didn't like about something. If all I ever got were compliments, then I'd be worried. :)

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  25. The secret is time and trust in your CPs. The more you get critiqued, the easier it gets. I will say those doubts never entirely go away, they just become easier to deal with.

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