How to deal with criticism (as a writer)

 This month’s issue of The Writer magazine contains my article on How to Deal With Criticism. I happened to be under a tight deadline for that article, and it was due right in the middle of ThrillerFest, but it didn’t matter because never has anything I’ve written come so easily. Do you ever just sit down and find words flowing out of you? Me neither, but I did in this case. Partly it’s because I criticize for a living. As a teacher at Gotham Writers, my job is to read through my students’ writing and give them helpful ways to improve it. Although I try to be positive, there comes a point when you have to note that the story would be better if it had a plot. For example. Then, as a writer, I receive criticism for a living. I write something and send it to my fabulous agent. She has a few suggestions. She sends it out to publishers. They have a few suggestions. Then there are the kind folk on amazon. If you can’t figure out how to deal with these suggestions, you’ll have a very short career as a writer. So I had A LOT to say in this article. Plus which, it contains one of my favorite sentences I’ve ever written (perhaps inspired by the fact that I’d just met George R.R. Martin at ThrillerFest. Here it is. “I find being critiqued a harrowing experience. My beautiful words that I have treasured and nurtured for years, are now being flayed alive like something out of Game of Thrones.” So please check out the article. And don’t criticize it! (And thanks to the fabulous Paula Lanier for the photo.)

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