Malcolm Gladwell states that it takes 10,000 hours to become a master of anything.
Have you put 10,000 hours into your writing?
If you’re not even close, it’s going to show. Your writing will be rough around the edges. Your technique will be off. You may make some egregious errors in plotting. Your description could be overdone or nearly nonexistent. Your characters may be poorly developed. Your dialogue might sound unrealistic.
Don’t freak out! All of this is part of the growth process when you’re an aspiring writer. You’re normal. You’re not a bad writer. You’re exactly where you’re supposed to be.
You’re going to make mistakes, plenty of them; and if you show other writers your stuff, they’ll pick it apart. That’s a good thing. They’re helping you, even though it feels like they’re insulting your precious literary babies.
I don’t personally believe in literary genius; I believe in literary effort. If you put the effort in, you’ll become a stellar writer. If you don’t, you’ll have to deal with constructive criticism, which isn’t such a bad thing.
When you do face constructive criticism of your fiction (or any other type of writing), always remember the following three things:
1. Remember that it’s not meant as a personal attack.
2. Remember that’s in your best interest to get critiqued if you would like to improve your writing.
3. Remember that an aspiring writer who puts the effort in is constantly increasing her/his abilities.
How do you handle constructive criticism of your writing? Have you ever felt uncomfortable when receiving constructive criticism? Why?