I love being a writer. I love the concept of story. I love typing. I love seeing my name on a book cover. I love seeing readers read my work with a smile on their faces. You know what I don’t love though? Critics. Critics are men, small, humanoids that take pleasure from trashing other people. I’m not talking about the occasional person who gives you a few suggestions to make your words better; I’m talking about those folks who seem to make it their jobs to make your life frustrating.
I read once that critics are just frustrated writers but I think it goes beyond that. I think critics are mean people who enjoy putting others down. As a writer you will meet them everywhere. Writer’s conferences are the worse. It’s as if there are a group of these mealy little beings who go to writer’s conferences just to pick at the writers. I have had more than on occasion to be the victim of these folks in front of crowds; there is no way to come back from a person shouting that you suck in a room of 50 people.
Let me make it clear that there is a huge difference between a critic and a person who is trying to help. A person trying to help does just that, helps. They might point out a mistake but they are then quick with a proposed solution too. They want to make you look better. A critic just wants to follow you around and point out your mistakes and enjoy the way it makes you uncomfortable. You should hug the person trying to help and trip the critic. (It’s okay, the law allows this)
By far the best way to deal with a critic is to ignore them. Remember that they are unhappy bullies looking for a victim. I usually just nod my head a lot, smile and walk away. If you let them see it hurt you, they won’t go away. Remember that you are a writer and you are writing otherwise those critics would have nothing to go after you on. Smile, nod and walk away…nothing makes a critic angrier than being ignored.
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