When to Ignore Negative Feedback

I think we call all agree that getting feedback on our writing is very important. Most of the time—whether it’s positive or negative, feedback serves to encourage or help us grow.

We can learn a lot from negative feedback but this isn’t always the case.

Sometimes it makes more sense to simply ignore negative feedback.

Here are three examples of instances in which we really need to just ignore negative feedback:

When it’s Not Constructive

Unfortunately, some people only know how to dole out destructive criticism.

Writers need to be able to accept feedback meant to help us improve and reject toxic remarks that are of no real value.

When it Doesn’t Educate You

Not all well-meaning criticism will benefit you. Perspectives vary and people will develop their own ideas of what the end result of your work should be.

I once had a short story dismissed by a reviewer who thought that six different kinds of aliens were too many, which made it difficult to keep up with the story. But it was a science fiction story that took place on a ship inhabited by hundreds of species, so were six really that unreasonable?

At the end of the day, if the negative feedback you’re receiving doesn’t actually help you to achieve the result you envisioned, sometimes it’s best to simply thank the person kindly and move on.

When it’s Not Relevant

Have you ever gotten negative feedback on a piece of work that wasn’t even relevant to the subject?

I once had a reviewer state that the “chapters” in a collection of short fiction that I published were disjointed and didn’t seem to be related to each other. Of course I was mystified because it was a collection of unrelated stories, not a novella or novelette.

Strange as it may sound, that sort of thing happens. Who knows why?

At those times, I ask myself one question: can I use this to become better at what I do?

If not, I simply move along.

What About You?

When do you choose to ignore negative feedback?

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