The Value of Bad Reviews

Critiques can be helpful, if done right

I recently read a New York Times article, in which  two writers explained the necessity of negative reviews.

I hadn’t realized that there was an unofficial movement to stop giving proper reviews.  As a writer and a sensitive person who suffers from low self-esteem, I can honestly say that I do not enjoy negative feedback.  Let’s face it, some critics tend to be more inventive with their negative reviews than with positive ones…most of the time, unnecessarily so.

But, what is the point of getting a review, if you can’t get honest feedback?  No one likes being told that something that they worked on (some times for years), isn’t perfect or <cringing> isn’t good at all.  Hopefully, instead of laying into your work with non-specific but poetic meanness, critiques should give authors something to work on.  Because isn’t better to get a grade (even if it’s an F), than to simply be ignored or get a pat on the head for a “good try?”  I mean, what am I, a child?

How else can you hope to get better, without criticisms?

If someone thinks your work isn’t very good – don’t you want to know?  Don’t you want some direction on what to dig out or fix?  I do, because no matter how difficult and upsetting it may be to take criticism, in the end – it helps you break free of your own barriers and with any luck, grow into something better.  🙂



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