It is inevitable in the world of content writing and creation, with the incredibly open access of the internet, that there will come a time when you will encounter users or readers that have criticisms of your writing or articles. Because of the amount of time and effort that you invest into your work, this may be difficult to accept at times, and may even chip away at your confidence as a blogger and writer.
Due to the sometimes abrasive nature of users and readers on the internet, it’s important for writers to develop coping mechanisms to manage negative thoughts or feelings that may arise out of some of these critical interactions. Consider practicing some of the following responses to criticism of your articles or writings as you navigate online forums.
1. Address Your Emotions
It’s okay to feel bad when someone criticizes your work, or leaves comments and remarks that you find to be unfair or uncharitable. Regardless if what a critic says about you or your work is valid or invalid, negative responses tend to evoke a sense of hurt or defensiveness in all of us.
Take a moment to allow yourself to feel the negative emotion(s) that these criticisms may bring out in you. It is understandable and justifiable to feel those emotions in the initial course of receiving unexpected criticism. From there, address the finer details of why those emotions have been triggered within you. Is it because the criticism attacked you personally? Is it because the critic questioned your work? Determine if any part of the criticism is constructive, or if it is better to write it off as an online troll.
Confront your negative emotions, and determine if you want to allow them to detract from your goals or if you can somehow use them to motivate you moving forward instead.
2. Be Open To And Accept Valid Criticism
Not all criticism of your work will be without merit, and that is an important concept to recognize and accept if you would like to grow or improve as a writer and blogger. If a reader provides fair criticisms, without aggression or malicious intent, it is valuable to consider such criticism.
If a reader provides criticism on how they think you might improve on an area of subject expertise or knowledge, or some formatting or styling technique, it may not hurt to invest some time in responding through your writing. Readers that encourage you to grow are not just critics, they are likely fans invested in watching you become a better writer and continuing to follow you as you evolve.
Being open to this kind of valid criticism may help your writing grow its audience and reach, as well as contribute to your own skills and personal growth.
3. Reaffirm Your Own Beliefs, While Respectfully Addressing The Criticism
Some forms of criticism come without malicious intent or aggression, but may have varying levels of validity and merit according to the topic of the criticism. There may come a time when a reader will criticize your opinion, as not all people agree, and while everyone may have valid reasons or justifications for their beliefs, this does not ensure mutual agreement.
It’s okay for you to disagree with your readers and critics about certain subjects. It may be beneficial to address in your writing or responses that you recognize your critic’s thoughts and that you respect their opinion on the matter, however still maintaining your own beliefs for reasons that you may or may not disclose at your discretion. While some people are incapable of agreeing to disagree, as author to your content, and to move forward, this is an invaluable skillset to learn in the interest of progression in your work.
4. Know When To Ignore The Criticism
Not all criticism is valid, and it will be incredibly important for you to learn to recognize what is and isn’t a valid criticism. Assess the tone and manner in which the criticism has been delivered. Is your critic aggressive? Do they fail to provide any reasonable explanation for their dispute with your work and writing? Is the critic attacking your character?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, it is entirely valid for you to dismiss this critic. Even if there is a grain of truth to something they have said to you, how someone says something is just as important as what is being said. Criticisms dished out with disdain, condescension, and aggressive or abrasive behavior are not acceptable forms of criticism.
The veneer of animosity on the internet emboldens some to lash out at others, act unkindly, or be flat out abusive. Such people are often insecure, or hurting in other ways that are not your responsibility to attempt to address or fix. While you may find yourself shocked, hurt, or offended at such criticisms of your work, you will need to develop a way to recognize these criticisms and dismiss them entirely. Not responding to such criticisms and negative interactions will set the tone for how you handle what is essentially harassment, and prevent such critics from feeling validated in their behavior.
5. Self-evaluate And Learn About How Your Writing Is Received
If you are receiving a fair amount of criticism of your work with some frequency, it may be a good idea to assess if these criticisms intersect or have some credence should they be recurrent. It’s always a good idea for a writer to find common criticisms among critics, and evaluating if these criticisms have merit.
If you apply the criticisms to your writing style, or your subject matter, you may find valuable insight as to how your audience sees your work. Utilizing this will help you to better cultivate the voice and image that you wish to project with your work.
6. Continue Creating Content
The most important thing to do when facing criticism online of your article or blog is to keep writing and posting your work. Giving up because of negative feedback, or less than stellar reviews will be a disservice not only to you, but also to your readers and audience that enjoy your work. Learning to cope with and learn from criticism is a key component to successful writing and blogging.
In the current state of information and technology that you work in as a blogger and article writer, there will inevitably be those who find your work and disagree with it, think it could use some work, or even hate it. Keep your goals in mind through these interactions, and choose wisely which ones you’ll allow to impact your work.