July 11, 2012


As an author you have to develop a thick skin. One of my recommendations to young/new authors just getting started is: Learn to accept criticism and negative reviews. The sooner you can do this, the better your writing will be for it and the sooner you can move on into becoming a "real" author. Until you can accept the bad with the good, the negative with the positive, and let them roll off your back, you're not ready to enter the world of publishing.

That said, I've done a lot in the past few years to "grow up" a bit as a writer. I've learned to accept criticism and glean through it for what is helpful and disregard anything I totally disagree with. It's not that it doesn't still sting a little now and then, it's that I have learned not to go on the defensive. I brace myself a little, sure, but I don't get defensive. I try to accept negative remarks as constructively as possible and with grace. Oddly enough, it is now the positive reviews that evoke the most emotional knee-jerk response from me (thankfully, when it comes to positive feedback, I don't have to be as guarded in my own response!)

That is why I am just overwhelmed right now. Last night, I couldn't sleep. So I got up and started messing around on goodreads, where I discovered this post:

"Hello, I just created a new blog called The First 7500 words where I will be reading the first 7500 words of a novel and giving the writing a critique based on several different aspects of those first critical words. This idea is based off of the fact that readers only give a novel so long to prove itself. Will your work hold strong?"

Intrigued, because it sounded a lot like the excerpt phase of the ABNA contest (which I haven't made it to in the past two years) I entered the contest. I expected a so-so response (I had no idea what sort of genre this blogger normally reads and enjoys, and her fun, snarky intro to the rules on her blog had me ready for a witty criticism, not necessarily an overly negative one, but I did not expect an overly enthusiastic positive review, and I was okay with that).

This morning, I read her review of my first 7500 words here and, yeah, I'll admit it, teared up a time or two. Her sweet words about my writing truly overwhelmed me.

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