Sunday, October 10, 2010

You Need A Thick Skin

On Saturday, October 9th, I participated in an event at the Carter G. Woodson Public Library in Chicago. There was a panel group that discussed the publishing business. The moderator asked questions and each author gave their response. One question remained with me throughout the day. As an author, what advice would you give a newbie?

The author next to me answered, develop a thick skin. Listening to her I realized how important those words were. She went on to say, how some people will get you work and others won't. Don't let them effect your work.

I think the advice is important enough to repeat. As an author/writer, you need to have a thick skin against the cruel and unpleasant opinions of others. Don't get me wrong, I try to gleam information from every comment, but sometimes I don't understand what readers are truly trying to say. So you have to develop a tough skin so that you won't stop writing or question every move you make in this business.

Here's a question for you, have you encountered a comment from someone, maybe a reader comment that doesn't make sense or was hurtful? Please share them with me.

There is a link below that you can click on and add your comment or email me at I'd love to hear from you.

Remember, don't be a stranger.


Tom Doolan said...

I believe the word you are looking for is "glean" not "gleam." ;)

But seriously, this is probably the one piece of advice I hear most often from published writers. I'm normally pretty sensitive to criticism, so this is the one thing I don't think I can hear enough. Thanks for reminding me. :)

Phyllis Bourne said...

Carter G. Woodson!!!! That's my childhood library. I remember when it first opened in the 70s.

G. B. Miller said...

Probably the one criticism that I respond negatively to (and lord I've garnered more than my fair share over the cyber world and real world) is that I write porn.

I don't write porn (at least not on purpose) and it would always bother me that people would misconstrue my early attempts at writing sex scenes by lableling it as such.

It ain't easy writing sex and it takes a lot of patience and practice (no pun intended) in order to get it right.

Charles Gramlich said...

A friend comment that hurt my feelings once was that he just didn't believe the ending of one of my stories. I went through contortions to explain how it could happen but he dismissed it, in public, in a single sentence. It hurt.

Jewel Amethyst said...

When a reviewer commented that my lead character was whiney, I was upset for all of two minutes because I thought she didn't get the growth of the character.

Got over it pretty quickly with the realization that you can't please everyone.

Liane Spicer said...

Absolutely. Trying very hard to grow one.

Weirdly enough, I'm yet to suffer the slings and arrows of negative criticism. I suspect I just haven't amassed enough reviews yet for the law of averages to kick in...