Growing a thicker skin as a writer

I was lucky enough to get feedback when I studied creative writing and advanced creative writing with The Open University. At times I was convinced one of my tutors hated me and I had to stop myself from correcting his spelling mistakes and typos in a long online post where he pointed out all of mine. I’m glad I didn’t correct him now. It was his job to teach me, not the other way round and I was the one whose work would be graded. It’s difficult though, as writers to hear anything less than praise for what we’ve worked hard on and are proud of. My second tutor was much nicer, but I still had to read some of his feedback with gritted teeth. Again, this was for my own good and to help me improve, but it’s still something I struggled with. I miss it now.

Most writers who have ever submitted anything anywhere will know that feedback is very rare and often there’s just a deafening silence in response to submissions. If I had £1 for every response I’ve had saying ‘It’s not quite right for us’ I would be rich. I used to wonder, what does it mean? It sounded a little harsh like it’s not quite right, full stop. I’d ask myself, what’s wring with ? Which bit isn’t right, but it seems to be a standard line in a rejection letter or email. or at least in the ones I receive. The negative side of me sometimes wonders if maybe my writing isn’t quite right and the reason everyone says that to me, is because they all agree.

The way round rejection is to self publish, but even that leads to tormenting myself. The writing is published and available for people to buy and read, but now I have other questions I torment myself with. Why do I get a cluster of refunded titles every so often? Why aren’t I getting more people taking advantage of days I offer my titles for free? Why won’t people leave feedback? Why has someone only read one page of my book on KDP? It’s not that bad, is it? I could go mad trying to figure out answers. The only solution is to try to think about it and to not let it get to me. I think the best way is to keep busy writing and carry on learning from books and tips online and hopefully improving and not to torment myself with all the whys and wondering what it all means. That’s a lot easier said than done though.

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