Anyone who has read my blog, knows that I have had to field many questions regarding how to handle criticism and reviews. My advice has always been a hands-off approach of engagement. Discussion and dialogue are always the best way to understand another person’s criticisms and concerns. In the end, you may find out that the other person has a valid point that you didn’t initially think of. A conversation can also provide confirmation if someone is in fact trolling you and simply needs to be ignored.
Arguably the worst thing you can do is block the person on social media or silence them in other mediums. Unless someone is actually attacking you on a personal level, consistently slamming you continuous, annoying messages, or making threats of some kind, there is virtually no justification for silencing that person. Doing so accomplishes nothing other than making your argument, post, or other offering look incredibly weak.
If your work, thoughts, or beliefs can’t stand up to every day scrutiny, then perhaps you should have thought twice about posting them in the first place. Perhaps a look inward might be in order. If on the other hand, you simply don’t want it to be criticized or debated, then posting it online might not have been the best idea.
If someone sees something you’ve posted and presents a differing opinion, or thoughts about what you’ve done that you may not necessarily agree with, silencing that person’s opinion gives off the impression that either you’re too immature to handle different viewpoints or as I said above, that your stance or work is weak and the critic may actually have a point. This potentially gives credence to someone who may have simply been trying to troll you.
I honestly see this quite often with people who have spent to long in their own echo chambers. This isn’t a strike against any one person or group as we all have bubbles where people will pat us on the back and do nothing but agree with us. The only way we actually grow intellectually is if we recognize our bubble and break out of it, thus exposing ourselves to new thoughts and ideas.
In terms of creative works, criticism should not only be welcomed, but is absolutely essential to growth in our chosen art. We gain nothing by having the same people validate our existence and work, regardless of its quality. One often wonders why Hollywood doesn’t produce anything good anymore or how a movie like Ghostbusters 2016 could be made. Looking at the landscape of Hollywood, it’s not unreasonable to assume that the writers and directors are in their own safespaces where people are either too like-minded, or in Ghostbusters’ case, too afraid of being labelled sexist, to tell the creators that their work might not be at its best.
In summation, if someone disagrees with you, criticizes your work, or debates points you’ve made, do not block them, dismiss them, try to silence them with threats of bigotry, attack their livelihoods, or at worst, physically assaulting them. If this is your first inkling when faced with criticism, I invite you to follow Q’s advice:
If you’re mature enough to have a thought, an opinion, or create something, you should have the mental stability/maturity to handle criticism. Harsh though this may sound, this is the best advice I can give for dealing with criticism.
Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.
I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.
I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.
Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.
Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:
If you have read my books, PLEASE log into Amazon and post a review. I really love to hear everyone’s thoughts and constructive criticisms. Reviews help get my book attention and word of mouth is everything in this business!
Catch you on the flip side!