On Writing… and Critics

It is May 2nd, 2015… and I have seen the Avengers: Age of Ultron twice. I did not go to a Thursday night showing, but a friend and I went to see it twice on Friday. We purchased our tickets a few weeks ago. We watched Age of Ultron first at noon in IMAX 3D, and then again at 4 p.m. in regular 3-D. During the break between our first and second viewings, we discussed the various choices the writer/director Joss Whedon made in the film. This post is not about the Avengers… it is more of a reflection on what it’s like to have your work out there. Being judged. By the entire world.

Yesterday when I was discussing the movie with my friend, I was fine pointing out the good things about the film… and the things that might need improvement. But when I woke up this morning, I was reminded of my novel. My novel is currently marinating, which means I am not working on the novel, but other people are reading it to give me feedback to make it better. The novel, which will be released sometime this summer, will be available for the entire world to read. And to critique.

Will my book have places that could be improved or done differently? Yes.
Will there be places of brilliance that should never be changed? I hope so. But the idea of having my work out there… not being read simply for enjoyment… but critiqued, is a concept I have not really thought about before. It’s kind of intimidating. I felt comfortable critiquing Joss Whedon’s movie from the comfort of my own chair… like many critics. Many online critics with anonymous handles (which prevent them from ever really being identified) are lobbing negative and positive reviews of the movie at Joss Whedon. Being anonymous allows people more freedom to critique. Some day, if my novel is even mildly successful, I will have anonymous reviewers lobbing positive and negative reviews of my work.

My friend and I both enjoyed the movie. Even though Age of Ultron failed to beat Harry Potter’s opening Friday with a paltry $84-million dollars, it has been very successful in it’s first two days in the U.S.A. (opened Thursday night). Some of the criticisms of Joss Whedon’s “Age of Ultron” seem mean-spirited, while others are more complimentary.

People feel really comfortable critiquing a movie, or a book, pointing out every flaw. But as an author, a creator of that work… it kinda sucks. How do you deal with the critical reviews of your work? Do you read them? Ignore them? Hide your head inn the sand? What do you do?

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One thought on “On Writing… and Critics

  1. I try to remember everyone has an opinion and focus on the positive reviews, which far outnumber the negative. I make it sound so easy. 🙂 The best piece of advice I received about reviews is to remember it’s a review of the book, not of you as a person. To us, the book feels like a piece of ourselves and it’s hard to separate it from us, but we are the only ones who have that problem.
    btw – I just got home from seeing the new Avengers movie, and I thought it was freaking amazing.

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