"Keep scribbling! Something will happen." Frank McCourt

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

IWSG: Like a Troll


The saga of the insecure writer continues the first Wednesday of each month. To learn more about it, sign up and visit other Insecures, click on the IWSG badge in the right sidebar. To learn more about Alex Cavanaugh, its creator, visit here

The one thing (plus 24,999) that I dislike about myself is that I focus ON THE ONE. One what? The one negative critique on something I’ve done. I find this to be truer in real life versus virtual. There can be twenty great reviews or praises, but that one negative, I'll pick it up and cradle it like a baby, then carry it on my shoulders. 

Don’t get me wrong, I love feedback and learn from it. But sometimes snarky and harsh criticism reminds of the internet troll and does not deserve a response, my time or even thoughts on the matter. And yet...  

Sometimes I:

  • get my feelings hurt.
  • become angry.
  • vow to never do that activity ever again.
  • have discussions with myself in the mirror. (This is most disturbing.)
Before you think that maybe I’m being prideful or a big baby with thin skin, consider this, there is research showing that our brain does not receive criticism, in a positive way. We don't like it. In fact, scans on the brain when we're praised shows dopamine lighting up our gray matter, but not when we’re being criticized.


You can read more at the links below about the brain on criticism:


Why “Constructive Feedback” Doesn’t Improve Performance
What Criticism Does to Your Employee’s Brains


I am definitely a work in progress. I'm a dope, I mean.... Get it? Never mind.

12 comments:

  1. I am not a writer - but also guilty of taking on negative criticism much, much more easily than the positive. I believe it. And always think that those who say positive things are 'just being nice'.
    Sigh.

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  2. As one who was criticized for EVERYTHING, my entire life as a child and teen by my mother, I don't deal with it well at all. I fly into a rage when my mom does it now. I won't put up with it. I get my feelings hurts soooo easily.

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  3. If someone enjoys criticism, then they are one weird duck!

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  4. I have an inoculation suggestion. Go to Amazon to your FAVORITE book and read the one star critiques. It is such a good reminder that all this is subjective.

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  5. What Hart said. But I get it. I remember the one stars much more than all the fives. You're only being human.

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  6. It's hard not to focus on something negative when it happens. But replacing it with a positive always helps. Read your great reviews. And Hart's idea about reading the 1 star reviews for your favorite book is another remedy. Don't let any review get you down and keep you down.

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  7. I get a kick out of some of the 1 stars I've gotten, I'm just weird I guess.

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  8. LOL, just read a review by someone who said she couldn't get through my first book--she stopped reading halfway through. All I've thought about is that bad review, despite the many good ones.

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  9. I read or listen to it and pout. Then I give myself that talk about wanting to be a better writer and dig in to improve. It works for me.

    Anna from elements of emaginette

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  10. you're right to get hurt, because harsh, snarky critique is not objective and not valuable; here's the key to know if someone has something valuable to say to you: are they keeping their emotions out of it? can they say it without offending you or without sounding angry? if so, then consider it, and by that I mean, see if it resonates, if it's something that would make your story better. But people who come bashing at you and insulting your characters do not deserve to be listened to. Believe me, I've learned the hard way. A true keeper is someone who can critique in a constructive way. That's the person you want to listen to. Good luck !!

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  11. I know exactly what you mean. Everything can be going great, and then one little negative thing pops up and that's what I fixate on. It sees to be human nature. But you see that you're doing it and you know it's not helpful, and I think that puts you ahead in this game.

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  12. Hi Teresa - it's easier to accept the negative into one's life .. but it's to find the strength to put it behind you and realise the many more positives you have. Good luck .. we are lucky being here and blogging .. cheers Hilary

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