It takes a lot of time and courage to finalize one piece of writing. Naturally, when you share your creativity with others, they will have opinions about it. Good or bad, there are certain ways to handle feedback that can benefit you as a writer.

If you’re a freelance writer, there are certain situations in which your work will not be appreciated by the client. It is perfectly normal for a client or editor to ask you to make modifications to your piece, so don’t take it personal. This happens due to multiple reasons. Sometimes, the guidelines are not properly explained, so the writer gets confused as to the requirements of the client. However, if you do your best work and have open communication, these issues should be resolved quickly.

How to overcome the negative feedback from clients?

If you receive negative feedback, don’t let it bother you too much. Also, don’t feel the need to respond right away, as you might be emotional and come off as unprofessional. If you’re writing for a client, it is part of your job to satisfy them. So, an unprofessional response from you will not help your case. If you take your time to figure out what went wrong and make the proper amends, you will have a more positive experience, which can lead to more work for you in the future. Your positive attitude will help you greatly in gaining long-term clients for your writing business.

The following tips can help you stay focused when facing unfavorable feedback on your writing:

Keep a positive mindset:

A writer should keep a positive mindset when asking for or receiving feedback from readers and clients. Understand that constructive criticism is meant to help you, not break you. Be down to earth and don’t take the words of others too personally – they are judging your content, not you. Remember that criticism is all part of the learning process.

Make necessary corrections:

There is not such thing as a perfect writer, we all make mistakes. With that said, if you receive feedback that you don’t like, don’t be too quick to dismiss such feedback. Most readers, and clients make valid points when they read something and feel a certain way about it. Go back to your piece and try to understand where your readers and/or clients are coming from. You’ll be surprised how much your writing improves when you start listening to the right kind of criticism.

Ask questions:

If you receive a feedback without any explanation from the reader or client as to why they didn’t like a certain part of your writing, don’t be afraid to ask them to give you one. You’ll be able to make better improvements if you can understand from the reader’s perspectives why they would change, take away or add something to your piece. If you don’t agree with a certain explanation, you may decide to not change anything, or you can make your case to the reader or client for why you made certain narrative decisions on the piece that they read.

Ignore unhelpful comments:

Not all feedback is meant to help you, some people are mean-spirited and will write feedback that is strictly meant to hurt you as a writer. This can be very hard to do at first, but you must learn to ignore these types of comments. The sooner you do it, the sooner you will grow as a writer. Besides, you will most likely get more positive feedback than negative ones. Focus on the helpful and positive feedback. Go back and re-read the good comments if you must – write them a thank you note and show them appreciation for taking the time to help you.

How do you feel about negative feedback? Share your thoughts bellow.

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(Especially if you don't like it) - The Haitian Storyteller