Before we begin with today’s topic, I just want to say thank you for following me! I couldn’t believe it when I saw 636 of you. I never expected this blog to turn into anything, but I’m glad it’s touched so many of you. Speaking of which, I do need to respond to some comments, so I’ll be doing that later today.
Also, I want to apologize for the lack of updates. Recently, I started a campaign to help writers who are struggling to get their stories noticed. The focus is to help them not feel alone and to provide support (similar to my blog).
I know I talked about this before, but I want to bring it up again, and methods to cope. Yesterday, I provided feedback to a writer. Now, this writer has a lot of reads and followers for her story. However, when I read the first chapter, I noticed it lacked any hint of backstory. It was vague, and I didn’t get a feeling I wanted to know the characters. Well, when I said I wish it was more developed and then explained why, the writer went off on me. She also told me having backstory in the first chapter is boring, and most readers don’t care about backstory until they know the characters better.
She apologized, and I said it’s ok. As a reviewer, I should have explained myself better at first. However, I told her after attacking me and calling me, “a troll who only wants to leave bad feedback on her story,” I said I’m no longer interested in reading it.
Her reply to this was:
My second reaction:
The reason for this reaction was because the writer still hadn’t learned. Now, I’m not perfect, but I would never tell a potential reader it’s “Your Loss.” Maybe the writer was young, but clearly, she didn’t know how to handle feedback.
I told her that not every bad comment is out to attack her. She may feel that way because it’s the internet, but if she hopes to publish, she can’t show attacks to reviewers on Amazon or Goodreads.
It took me a long time to learn this, but as a writer, we are selling ourselves just as much as our books. The attitude we display to our readers is important.
As I said before, I am not perfect. My readers say the worst of me – a writer who wasn’t confident in their work and deleted everything. I was a monster, and I feel like I treated my readers poorly in the past. Now, I’m trying to get better and not delete my work out of self-doubt.
That brings up my main point today – How do we handle the feedback we get and not come off defensive? Feedback makes us feel attacked (some of us), feel bad (some of us), and lowers our confidence (some of us).
Here are some tips I’ve used to handle feedback:
- Thank the reviewer! Always thank the reviewer for leaving you feedback. Even if you didn’t like it. When I get feedback like this, I take a step back and distant myself from my story. Sometimes thinking, “I know I’m upset right now, but as a reader, what would I think if I read this?
My responses to those reviews are usually, “Thanks for the feedback! I’ll take it into consideration when I do the rewrite.” – That is simple and to the point. You acknowledged the reviewer and were polite.
- Take a deep breath. Sometimes, this helps to relax me from what I just read. When you do this, take your hands off the keyboard ^__^
- Step away and come back. If you want to know why the person felt the way they did, and you’re upset at the time, then step away. Step away and then come back later. Think of a nice way to write the response that doesn’t attack the reviewer or make you seem defensive. Something like, “Thanks for the feedback. Can you explain to me why you felt this way? I’m really curious.”
And after you get your response, don’t say, “It’s your loss.” > < Like I said, that writer was probably young, but she should realize the world is full of stories to read, and hers is one story in a sea of many.
Anyway, I hope you found the tips helpful:
Remember, if you get feedback you don’t like, you got this!
How do you handle feedback on your stories?