I’m not talking about the helpful “constructive criticism” a good mentor provides. I mean the gritty, harsh, in-your-face, tell all your friends to stay away, one-star review criticism.
This type of criticism is a good thing.
Why? Let’s examine several reasons.
1. Criticism often contains useful information.
Sometimes criticism can be more honest and helpful than positive feedback. Leave it to your critics to find the flaw in your masterpiece and expose it for you to acknowledge and address.
Though I realize some comments are unnecessarily harsh and intend to hurt others, much of it has an element of truth you can use to improve your work. Don’t ignore the pearls hidden in these smelly oysters!
2. It helps you refine your target audience.
Think about it. The people who hate your guts and tear your efforts apart probably aren’t the people you are trying so desperately to reach.
This helps you narrow your efforts to the intended market.
3. It can be pretty entertaining.
Have you ever gotten a hateful, negative comment that didn’t make any sense? Or one which completely missed the point of your work? This is what I call a ricochet. I dare you to collect odd-ball, overly-negative responses just for the sake of amusement!
4. Your work is worth criticizing!
No one can critique you until you do something. You stuck your neck out, and you followed through on something.
Think about it. No one can give you a horrible book review until you have actually written a book!
The only way to avoid criticism is to avoid doing anything important. Compared to this, bad reviews don’t sound so bad anymore!
Write about some criticism which turned out to be helpful.