When I was about eleven or twelve, I gave my mother one of my early efforts to read. When I asked her what she thought, she began telling me all the problems with it. I had expected lavish praise, and so I responded by growing sullen—and after a few moments she said, “Look I can tell you it’s fantastic and wonderful if you want. But if you actually want to become a better writer, then that’s not going to do you any good.”
I went away and thought about it and decided she was right. Newly humbled, I went back and asked her to tell me what was wrong with the chapter—and she did.
Thus began my long history with negative feedback. I’ve certainly gotten a lot of it over the years, and it is key to growth and development—but only if it’s in line with the direction in which you want to grow and develop.
These days, I deal with negative feedback rather differently, whether it’s a scathing critique or a negative review on my Amazon listing. Continue reading