Consider the Source

As an author, I belong to a number of online forums for writers of all stages of development, from newbies to seasoned pros. From time to time, someone posts a question I feel compelled to answer. Here’s the latest:

“How do you think of people who criticize your work? Would it be healthy to think of critics as just being jealous of your talent, and if they have time to critique your work, they should write a book of their own instead? I saw a movie director recently who said he thinks of his critics as just ‘toxic people,’ and that he is confident of his talent.”

My response:

“It depends on the source. If it’s a random reader or poorly-written review, I ignore it. If it’s a respected critic and the review is well-crafted, I will consider it. Who knows, I might learn something? Mainly it’s good to remember that you can’t please everyone and shouldn’t try.”