SPF-035: Dealing With Criticism from Editors and Readers – with Dr. Debra Holland

As an author, it’s a given that you’re going to have get used to dealing with all kinds of feedback on your work. But don’t get downhearted by the negative words. For a start, new authors should quickly get used to the fact that you simply can’t please all of the people all of the time. And bear in mind what Woody Allen once said about keeping your creative talent on task: “If you’re not failing every now and again, it’s a sign you’re not doing anything very innovative.” If it takes someone else’s words to make that clear to you, so be it. Take note – and don’t take it to heart.

The smart author will always make the most of the constructive criticism that comes his or her way and use it to refine their written output. They also know how to identify the less useful pieces of feedback and process them without feeling the need to hide under a duvet for a day. But how to do that exactly?

In this week’s episode, James and Mark discuss strategies for dealing with criticism and feedback – a very timely discussion given James’ feverish wait for feedback from his editor on the manuscript of what will hopefully be his first novel (you can read more about that here).

They are joined by author and psychologist, Dr.Debra Holland, whose professional insight into the issue adds an extra dimension to the discussion. As usual, there are plenty of tips to be had for both established authors as well as those, like James, who are looking to kick start their self publishing career.

Are you ready to win $3,000 in book services from Reedsy?

The Self Publishing Formula team and the great folks at Reedsy have teamed up to give you an opportunity to get some of the more costly editorial, design, and formatting services for your book absolutely free. The contest will be running only for a short time longer so you’ll want to enter soon. And the good news is that you can enter more than once. If you’d like to get your shot (or many of them) at this great prize package you can listen to this episode of the podcast to get all the details and enter for your chance to win!

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:01] Your opportunity to win $3,000 in services from Reedsy.
  • [1:56] The process James has been going through with his first book.
  • [6:00] Getting into your reader’s shoes. It’s not so easy.
  • [8:00] How Mark approaches the task for writing the first draft.
  • [10:55] Choosing the right mindset about receiving editorial feedback.
  • [14:58] Mark’s tips to make the best use of editorial feedback.
  • [16:39] Is there a difference between a developmental editor and a structural editor?
  • [18:51] James’ blogging process of his book writing process.
  • [20:27] How Mark responded to his very first editorial feedback.
  • [22:18] Dealing with negative reviews on your book once it’s published.
  • [26:58] Dr. Debra Holland (live interview at a conference).
  • [32:07] The difference in dealing with reviews on fiction and nonfiction books.
  • [33:01] How can authors deal with isolation and introversion.
  • [34:16] How beginning writers can join helpful writer’s groups for support.
  • [35:22] Dealing with the uncertainties of the financial side of writing, psychologically.
  • [41:10] How you can win $3,000 in services from Reedsy.

Resources & Links Mentioned In This Episode

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