I can’t tell you how many writers I’ve encountered can’t take criticism. Yes, it’s easy to get attached to your own words. It happens to the best of us. But do you want to be a better writer? Then don’t be that asshole who thinks they know everything because [spoiler!] you don’t.
Now, this doesn’t mean you should take everything everyone has to say to heart because [guess what?] they don’t know everything either.
Writing is life, and, just like life, it takes balance. Learning to see the truth in things, what has value and what’s just fluff, will help you immensely. Your story is your vision, sure, but the truth is a lot of ideas are shit. I know it hurts to hear.
My mission, however, my wordy friend, is to tell you this: don’t be stupid. Listen to the advice people give you. Don’t cockblock a great idea out of your own stubbornness. Just don’t. If someone tells you a plot-point is a cop-out, for the love of all that is coffee, go back and check!
Look at it constructively. Does it make sense? Did you do it on purpose? And if you did- is it working the way you intended? Weigh that shit out. Look at it from your perspective; from someone else’s; phone a friend, get a second opinion; whatever! Just before you decide you’re right to keep it the way it is, make damn sure it serves the intended purpose. And if it’s not? Cut that sucker out like a bad habit.
See, here’s the thing: if you are planning to publish your story when you’re done writing it, you are not writing it for you because you just love writing so goddamn much. No, you are writing that story for someone else to read. Don’t @me on this one, guys:
If you were writing it for yourself, you wouldn’t waste your time publishing. Marketing is hard. It takes up a lot of time. You wouldn’t worry about whether your story is any good either. But you are. That’s why you’re here and that’s why shit is not about you. It’s about your reader and your story, but not you.
If you want to be a better writer, one of the best things you can do is learn to listen to your fellow writers. We are all in this literary nuthouse together, and we want to help you. Seriously. Helping you borders on a compulsion.
So learn to take criticism. After all, do you want to be right? Or do you want a bangin’ story?
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