***If you haven’t read my previous post to this topic, Click Here.
Learning how to accept or even hear feedback is not always easy, especially when negative. However, I believe it is essential in order to develop fearlessness.
Humbling yourself doesn’t always mean not being boastful or arrogant over your work, although that is another thing to be mindful of. It is being able to accept criticism or negative responses of your work without being defensive or giving up. Some criticism is good because it can bring to light aspects of your writing that may not be connecting with others. Especially with my lyrical poetry I really appreciated the feedback I received early on because it helped me recognize areas in my writing or habits in my writing that made it difficult to understand or read (i.e. wordiness). Looking back, I see these problems and I am thankful I was able to get such feedback. I believe that when one humbles one’s self, they are able to clear—open their mind to see things that may not have been obvious to them. Of course all this is useful when you receive constructive criticism and not vague criticism, such as “I don’t like this.”
Another point, and one that I have come to realize, is that negative feedback is inevitable, especially as your audience grows. And some may provide constructive criticism that you may not agree with. At the end of the day, and especially if they are not pointing out typos or errors, it is best to take them with a grain of salt and move on. Some feedback may be valuable, but a lot is opinion. You as a writer know your work best. Decide what to do with the feedback you receive—take it or leave it. But anticipate these things, don’t take them personal, and use feedback to build fearlessness and grow as a writer.
The best thing to do in ensuring successful publishing and long-term success in your writing is to have Passion, Patience, Humbleness, and Fearlessness. Building an audience, getting your work to be read and heard by others, takes time, it does not happen overnight. For me, I learned to never forget, never lose the reason I began writing in the first place—because I enjoyed it. To me, writing was my outlet to set my mind free, to express how I felt about others, things, and myself. It was my chance to create a world—a life in which I didn’t necessary live in but envisioned where I saw myself. It was a chance for me to face challenges that even as I write, I didn’t know how they would play out. Your writing should be genuine—you should have fun. If you don’t have that, then nothing else will surface. Don’t see your audience as a number, a goal to obtain. See them as an important community to interact with, get to know, and learn from. To me, any important audience is one that is responding to what you do, whether big or small.
But quite possibly the biggest most important thing I have come to realize is this: creative writing is more of an art than a structured, technical, construction which must meet criteria and follow guidelines in order to be relevant or successful. When one focuses more on the business side of writing, writing can lose its “art” and start to be tedious work as it was starting to become for me. There is no wrong or right way to write a story or poem—or any literary work, as long as it is readable and free of errors, such as grammar and spelling. It is worth being shared and read by others. There is no unintentional silly or nonsense story, poem, or literary work because you never know what readers will like. Who knows, your off-trend and unique writing could start a new trend as others have done before.