Avoiding the Fetal Position

What do you do when you receive a review or critique that
stings? Kick the chihuahua? Cry for your mommy? Reach for a quart of Ben &
Jerry’s?
Sometimes it’s hard not to take critiques personally,
especially if you’ve knocked yourself out to begin with on a particular piece
of writing. It’s a double whammy when that criticism comes at an exceptionally
bad time (which could be something as huge as contracting Dengue Fever or as
simple as you just burnt the toast and your house stinks).
I understand that holy-cow-whatever-made-me-think-I-could-write
feeling. But before you take that feeling and run with it to the bad place,
here are some ideas to help you cope with a tough review and/or critique…
SHELVE IT
Though your instinct may be to ball up the wretched critique
and toss it in the circular file, don’t. And I probably don’t need to remind
you that stalking is a felon, right? So revenge is not an option. Try the
forget-about-it method, instead. Don’t re-read the scathing remarks for at
least a week or two. Set it aside and come back to it later. Time really is the
great elixir. You might be surprised that you’ll find a truth nugget or two
when you do glean over it later on.
FIND A SHOULDER

Writers are an emotional lot. Yes, even those with stoic Scandinavian
backgrounds. As a writer, it’s important for you to find a network of 2 or 3
buddies who are there for you to give you a pat on the back and listen to your
sniffles. Often a good venting will clear out the gunk in your head so that you
can see the critique way more objectively.
PRAY
Seriously. I know this sounds like a cheap answer, but in
the economy of life, this is where you’ll find wealth. Go to God and give Him
all your insecurities. When you get your eyeballs off yourself and turn your
view upward instead, all that insecure nausea will disappear. Tough
critique/review or not, He’s in charge of your writing or He isn’t. Which is
it?
Newsflash: scorching remarks are going to come your way. It’s
part of the writing game…so put on your knee pads and helmet, and get out there
and play!

Michelle Griep’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas…professionally, however, for the past 10 years. Her latest release, UNDERCURRENT, is available by Risen Books. You can find her at: Writer Off the Leashwww.mmgriep.com or on TwitterFacebook, or