How To Take Criticism The Right Way As A Writer

As writers, we often get nervous about receiving criticism. It’s not because we’re insecure it’s because most of us want what is best for our writing and are worried that a critic will suggest something that doesn’t actually improve it. 

Here are some tips that can help you take criticism in a way that benefits you as a writer.

How To Critique Other Writers + How To Handle Criticism
1. Embrace criticism as an opportunity for growth.
2. Develop a resilient mindset to handle both positive and negative feedback.
3. Separate your personal identity from your work to avoid taking criticism personally.
4. Seek out constructive criticism that provides specific insights for improvement.
5. Focus on learning and continuous improvement rather than dwelling on negativity.
6. Approach criticism with curiosity and an open mindset to extract valuable insights.
7. Use criticism as a tool to refine your writing skills and enhance your craft.
8. Recognize that not all criticism is valid, and learn to discern between helpful and unhelpful feedback.
9. Turn criticism into an opportunity to build resilience and a thicker skin.
10. Remember that the ability to handle criticism positively is a crucial skill for writers’ professional growth.

Don’t Take It Personally

When you take criticism, it’s important to keep in mind that it shouldn’t be taken personally. Criticism is just a way for readers to help you out, even if they don’t say so explicitly. Often, people will criticize without realizing how much it can affect another person. 

But when you look at the kinds of criticism that are most likely to hurt your feelings (and make you think less of yourself), they usually fall into one of four categories:

The critic’s intent is personal they mean something by what they say, and it’s directed at you. For example: “This sucks because I hate [thing].” 

In this case, the criticism isn’t really useful or constructive it says nothing about the work itself or what needs improvement; rather, it says something about the critic’s opinion of the author as an individual. The critic makes assumptions about who you are based on what he/she read.

The critic implies that he/she has more experience or knowledge than you do in other words that he/she knows more than what he/she actually does know. The critic attempts to devalue your experience because his/her own experience is so different from yours

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Assume The Best Intentions

No matter what your critic’s intentions, taking criticism is a learning process. If you can assume that the person pointing out your flaws is trying to help you improve, it’ll be much easier for you to take their feedback and use it in your writing. 

You can either choose to address the feedback directly or just let it sit in your mind as food for thought that may eventually lead to improvement. 

On the other hand, if somebody’s intentions are not genuine and they’re just after making themselves feel better at your expense then all bets are off: ignore them!

Be Open To Hearing A Different Perspective Than Yours

It’s not always easy to be open-minded, but it’s important to be open to new ideas. Sometimes the most valuable feedback you get will come from people who don’t agree with you. 

There is no one right way of doing things, and there are always many ways of looking at a situation or a particular piece of writing. 

Being critical is an art form in itself; if you can learn how to give constructive criticism effectively, then that skill can help your career as much as receiving it does.

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Be Open To Trying New Things

If a reader or editor has given you feedback, it’s important that you take time to absorb the information they’ve provided. 

The key is being willing to try new things, even if they are uncomfortable, boring or difficult. This can mean anything from changing your writing style or making wholesale plot changes to something as simple as changing the characters’ names and appearances.

Once you’ve opened yourself up to their suggestions and made changes based on them (if applicable), it’s also important that you give yourself some time for your work and yourself to settle in before giving feedback again.

Accept That You Are Not Perfect

Criticism is difficult to take when you’re convinced your work is flawless. But the truth is that we all make mistakes, and if you want your writing to be better, it’s important to learn from them.

Accept that you are not always going to be right.

Many of us have difficulty accepting criticism because we believe our own opinions are inherently superior in every situation (and sometimes they really are!). 

However, it’s also important for us as writers to consider what other people think about our work if only so we can improve!

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Decide If The Critic Is Worth Listening To Or Not

The first step in taking criticism is to decide if the critic is worth listening to.

The first person who should never be trusted is yourself. I know it’s hard not to take what you write personally, but even the most well-meaning critic can accidentally hurt your feelings and make you think your writing isn’t good enough when it really might be. 

You don’t have a track record of being right (yet), so if someone tells you that your work doesn’t have any plot holes or problems with grammar, they’re probably right.

If the person giving feedback is someone close to you like a family member or friend, then chances are good that their opinion of your work will be more positive than an impartial reader’s would be but this doesn’t mean that they won’t give useful feedback anyway! 

Give them another chance; maybe they’ll surprise you with insight into how some parts of your story could be improved upon after all! And remember: there are no perfect writers; even JK Rowling said she was “horrendously disorganized and messy.

Don’t Ignore Criticism Just Because It Is Hard To Hear

It’s important to remember that criticism is not a reflection on your intelligence, worth, or value as a person. It’s just an opinion. And no one can make you feel bad about yourself unless you let them!

If someone criticizes your writing, take it for what it is: their own subjective reaction to something that came from within themselves (and therefore does not exist outside of their mind). You do not have to agree with another person’s thoughts or opinions of your work! 

But if they are kind enough to share their feedback with you, then listen up and try not to get defensive or angry these are valuable insights into how others see things differently than we do ourselves!

Don’t Reject Criticism Just Because It Is Different Than Yours

Some people who are new to writing may think that criticism is a bad thing. But in reality, it can be an incredibly beneficial experience for you. 

Just because someone has a different perspective or way of doing things than you does not mean that their opinion is wrong and yours is right. In fact, the opposite may be true!

Being able to take criticism well means being able to learn from your mistakes and improve upon them as necessary. It also means being open-minded enough to consider other perspectives so that you can become more well-rounded as a writer and person overall.

In order for this process of self-improvement to work effectively, however, one must first understand what “good” criticism looks like:

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Acknowledge Your Progress Thus Far, Regardless Of The Criticism You Are Receiving

It can be hard to focus on what we have accomplished when we are being criticized. We tend to focus on everything that hasn’t been done or everything that hasn’t been accomplished yet. 

Instead, try acknowledging your progress thus far and the fact that you’ve come this far in your writing journey.

It’s okay if someone points out something you need to fix it means they’re invested in seeing you improve as a writer! 

However, it’s not productive for anyone if you spend all of your time focusing on what needs fixing rather than thinking about how far along the journey has taken you already.

Learn From The Criticism

When you receive criticism, it is important not to get angry or defensive. It can be difficult to hear, but it’s best if you listen carefully and try to understand where the other person is coming from. 

Thinking about how your actions may have led others to perceive them in a negative way will help you learn from the experience without getting upset. 

Ask yourself: Has this happened before? If so, why was there confusion then? What did I do differently this time around that might have caused people think differently about my actions or opinions than they did before?

It’s also important for writers (and artists in general) not just try new things but fail at some point even if our failures don’t always seem like failures at first glance! 

As long as we’re working hard and improving ourselves along the way, then everything will eventually pay off down the road when we achieve success through hard work alone…

Give Yourself A Break

When criticism is coming at you from all angles, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. But there are plenty of ways to get back on track and keep your spirits high, even when things aren’t going as well as you hoped.

Take a break: Sometimes, the best thing for your mental health is taking some time away from writing.

 Go for a walk in nature or sit by the water with a good book, listen to music that cheers you up (or helps inspire), go see some comedy whatever helps recharge your batteries.

Give yourself a pat on the back: If someone gives you feedback on one of your pieces and they’re complimentary about something in particular, don’t be afraid to stop what you’re doing and give yourself credit for having written something that worked so well! You deserve it!

Take a moment to celebrate: When you finish writing something major like an essay or story or poem take time out of your busy schedule for self-care activities like getting together with friends or treating yourself with an indulgence like buying new clothes or taking massages/manicures/pedicures etc

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Find Ways To Cope With Your Stress Level


The physical benefits of exercise are well-known, but less widely discussed is the mental health benefits that come with it. 

When you’re stressed out, hitting the gym can help you feel better and it’s a great way to clear your head and refocus your energy on something other than whatever was stressing you out in the first place.


Studies have shown that meditation helps reduce anxiety, stress and depression by calming down overactive brain activity in areas responsible for these feelings/emotions/states of being (the amygdala). 

It also helps with focus so if there’s some aspect of writing that has been getting on your nerves recently, meditating may be able to help calm those worries down so they don’t distract from more productive activities like writing!

Take A Break From Writing For Awhile

If there’s something about your current project that is making it hard for you to focus on other things then try taking a break from working on it until those feelings subside or change it could be as simple as taking 5 minutes away from working on.

Whatever task might cause frustration before returning again later if needed when feeling refreshed makes an immediate difference in how well one works rather than delaying gratification which often leads only downhill especially.

Since most people find themselves wanting more after trying once failing miserably at accomplishing certain tasks due to lack of experience.


With these tips, you can find a way to handle criticism that works best for you. Remember to always be open to what critics have to say and learn from their feedback, no matter how harsh it may seem at first. 

If you’re new to writing, remember that constructive criticism comes with experience and don’t be discouraged if your work doesn’t receive praise right away!

Further Reading

Expand your understanding of handling criticism as a writer with these insightful articles:

5 Ways to Overcome Brutal Criticism as a Writer: Learn effective strategies to navigate and overcome harsh criticism in your writing journey.

Handling Criticism: Navigating the Ups and Downs of Writing: Explore practical tips and perspectives on how to handle criticism while staying motivated in your writing endeavors.

The Writer’s Game Plan for Dealing with Constructive Criticism: Discover a comprehensive game plan for approaching and utilizing constructive criticism to improve your writing skills.


How can I overcome brutal criticism as a writer?

Overcoming brutal criticism requires developing resilience and separating your identity from your work. Consider adopting coping strategies and focusing on growth rather than dwelling on negativity.

What are some effective ways to handle criticism as a writer?

Handling criticism involves maintaining an open mindset, seeking constructive feedback, and recognizing that not all criticism is detrimental. Embrace criticism as an opportunity for improvement.

How can I turn constructive criticism into a valuable learning experience?

To turn constructive criticism into growth, approach it with curiosity rather than defensiveness. Analyze the feedback objectively, identify patterns, and use the insights to enhance your writing skills.

How do I balance feedback from multiple sources?

Balancing feedback requires discernment. Consider the credibility and expertise of the sources, identify common themes, and prioritize feedback that aligns with your writing goals.

What’s the difference between brutal criticism and constructive criticism?

Brutal criticism tends to be harsh, personal, and unhelpful, often aiming to tear down rather than offer insights for improvement. Constructive criticism, on the other hand, is specific, actionable, and aimed at helping you enhance your writing.