African American Author's Expo and Multi-Cultural Book Fair

Independent Book Authors in the Metropolitan Area

When I first started my novel I wrote just to unleash my creativity. To clear my mind of the voices inside my head. After realizing I had message to share with others I decided to publish it. However, what I didn't prepare myself for were those comments in which people said, "Your work changed my life," or "It was okay, but it had...." It's funny, no matter how many people tell me they love my story those that have something negative to say, their words seem to standout in my mind the most.

As a new author, I wonder, does these feelings of insecurities ever subside? Will I always hear the voices of the few oppose to the voices of the many? Better yet, how do you handle criticism?

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I suppose it matters why you write.  If you write for the love of writing or because it moves you, then I don't think it should matter.  However, if you write for recognition then you will always be enslaved to the opinion of others.  In addition, I think it matters also if you are distinguishing between feedback and criticism.  If you look at the word feedback - it really has no positive or negative connotation.  It merely is a reflection of the work (the process) you used through another persons eyes.  So, there is really no such thing as positive or negative feedback.  If you seek honest and open discussion about your process then you will take the "feedback" and use it to improve your work prior to completion.  Criticism is an open evaluation of your completed work - it can be positive or negative depending on your view point.  In my opinion criticism is something that occurs when you place a value (entertainment, monetary, etc.) on a completed project or event.  Then someone can come to you and let you know whether or not the value that they sought met their expectations (good or bad). If your book/art is a "final" work - then the criticism will come and since the work is completed you just listen and move on.  However, if your work is an ongoing collection (you will write more than one book) then you might say that the information is feedback and you can use it to make your next work in the process better.  

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