Silencing the Critics

One thing I didn’t realize when I became published was that I wouldn’t just have to deal with a few negative reviews but with what would seem some days like an onslaught of negativity. Reviewers are one thing, I’m one of ’em. Critics are another. They seem live to find what’s wrong with the world, and more specifically your work.
One particularly bad review of a friend’s novel prompted me to visit the scathing reviewer’s home page where she did not camouflage her mission. Um… I thought this was just the stuff of paranoid writers. Guess not.

“I hate books that are selling well and getting lots of positive reviews so I look for what’s wrong with them.”

Wow, imagine going through life trying to see the bad instead of the good? How miserable an existence.

Now that I’m on the other side of the fence, I’m finding the need to distance myself from critics, not because what they say has no merit, sometimes they do. What I find happening though is as I’m trying to meet my deadline, I hear them in my head, “Implausible! Melodramatic! Depressing! Juvenile! Whatever.”

This can be paralyzing. I never would have thought I would be so effected but I am.

So, how do I silence the critics in my head? The obvious answer is to not read the reviews, good or bad. This is sometimes easier said than done.

For me, another solution is to open the sunshine folder my agent, Chip, told me to start keeping years ago. I go back and read the letters from the folks who were touched by my words. I also pray about it. Not as much as I should, but more than I used to.

What about you other writers who have opened yourself up to the critics of the world by sending your heart and words into the world to be judged? How do you silence the critics in your head so you can write without that peanut gallery of negativity?