A kick to the face. Nay, the ballsack, testes splattering.
Sometimes the writer gets rejected. Sometimes said writer wants to scream, “What the serious fuck?! Rejected, why? Bullshit! I. Reject. You. Period.”
We all face it at sometime. If you write, you may face it more that most. Failure is part of our overall makeup. Hell, we even reject our own work (different post entirely!). But, when others do it…
There’s a mystical sting that goes to the root of our core. It’s like a getting a Black and Decker 3/16 drill bit to the eyeball and straight into the brainbox, cerebral fluid leaking out.
It makes you want to quit the game. Not sure what the game is, but you want to throw it all out. You think no one gives a hot wet fuck about what you wrote. Complete shit, every fucking word. Once those ten seconds pass, it’s like pffft, what-the-hells-ever. You go into serious zero fucks mode and hammer down. Back to the writing cave.
Here’s 5 things NOT to do when one gets a bad critique.
1. Do Not Bash Skulls. That’s important, therefore, I shall repeat: DO NOT BASH SKULLS.
The writer wants to crack the head open like a holiday walnut (not sure why a holiday walnut, but goddammit, it’s my bloodspot, not yours). Ya know what though, that’s not how shit works. Writing is hard work. It takes time. We all want our time to be worth it; something, anything. Work to be better, not bashing said skulls to particle dust.
2. Do NOT Locate Said Critiquer’s Living Space And Set Aflame.
Fire does not solve problems unless you’re a hairy beast of a neanderthal. Or very cold and happen to have a fireplace, which, in that case, commence flames. Here’s a true fact: not everyone who reads your work will like it. That doesn’t mean said story is bad AND that does not mean that said reviewer is bad. Sometimes it’s both. Or one of the other. Maybe neither. BUT, pay attention to the critique as there’s always some useful info in those little bastards. Always.
3. Crippling A Critic Is NEVER Good.
Let’s face it, people have grown accustomed to using their legs for certain things. (At times, I crack me up.)
Use the critique to YOUR advantage. Sure, you can be pissed off that you received what you consider a bad critique; however, spin that little fucker and get some positives from it. Maybe your writing is disjointed. Take that info and fix the problems in your story to make it better. Maybe you used one too many exclamation points! Remove them and make your shit better!!!! Then say, “Fuck it.” and remove more because those things just aren’t needed. See, critiques make sense.
4. Do Not Defend Your Story To A Reviewer.
I know-I know, this sounds weird. Feels weird just writing it. Here’s the deal, if you have to constantly defend your piece, then let’s be honest, it needs work and your reviewer just called you out on it. Take that to heart and think before the defense starts. In other, the defense rests. (Again, cracking me up.)
5. Don’t Be Thickheaded.
This is most important:
A critique can be a paralyzing muthafucker. Just because you’ve written something does’t mean that you’re done. There’s always work to do. Take what you’ve learned from the review and apply it to your writing. If you need to change twists, change them. If you need to add suspense, add it. If the story lacks plot, ratchet that shit up.
An honest critique is not just for fun. It’s not meant to demean the writer. It’s not a for-shits-and-giggles exercise. It takes time. It takes work. It’s meant to aid in making YOUR work better.
Use them in some way to better your writing.
A Last Note.
There will be times when readers, editors, and critics don’t like your work. They won’t like the style. They won’t like the story. Hell, I dunno, they might not like your use of semicolons.
But goddammit, the writer still writes. We need to be happy with our writing. We need to tell ourselves that it’s not for everyone. Not everyone’s cup of scotch. It’s a biscuit they can’t bite. Fine. That’s cool.
We persevere. We move on. A writer MUST have broad shoulders and alligator skin. Live in the present and press the fuck on. Be like a shark, always moving forward. We don’t stop. No time for stopping and whining about rejection. Always work on the next thing.
Don’t allow critiques to get the best of you. Learn from the experience. Ask editors what’s wanted in advance. Not everyone likes the same style.
Onward you go. Words, they must be ejaculated onto the page.