Dealing With Criticism

I need to take a break from talking about Anomaly and the iPad mini giveaway and just get back to blogging about what’s going on in my head.

But the Anomaly release is what’s going on in my head. Actually, that’s not true. People’s reactions to the Anomaly release is what’s on my mind.

Having a book release is amazing. Exciting. Unreal. This is my fourth book, but’s it’ still like an out-of-body experience. I am writing books! And people are reading them! Wow.

But having a book release is also scary. People are reading my books! And some people don’t like them. At all. Sometimes, the criticisms are because “there’s too much God in them”. I’m okay with those criticisms. I am unashamedly Christian, and I hope my passion for Christ saturates every book I write. But some readers just don’t like my stories, my writing style, my characters. Ouch. And, while writers are told not to read reviews, I can’t help myself. It’s like driving by a car wreck. You don’t mean to look. You spent the ten minutes before you got to it angry at the people who were stopping. But then you’re there. And it’s there. And you just can’t help yourself.

So I read the reviews and I start measuring myself by the opinions of others. Lots of stars, and I am happy, confident, floating on air. But even one “I couldn’t even finish it, this book was so bad” review, and I am sighing into my coffee, waiting for a phone call from my publisher saying they’re pulling this awful book and kicking me to the curb.

All of you reading this have been criticized for something, sometime. It’s part of all of our lives. If you play sports or sing or paint or even wear clothes, you are susceptible to criticism. Some people don’t care (or say they don’t care) what people think. Some people try a preemptive strike – criticizing others before others can criticize them. Some try desperately to make others like them so they won’t be criticized. And some just try to disappear so no one notices them, thus avoiding criticism.

None of those responses is healthy. I know. I have tried them all. And what I learned is that I need to stop getting so worked up about what others think and focus instead on what God thinks. His is the opinion that really matters. His corrections are helpful, his love is unconditional, and I am here, on this earth, to bring him glory. And I am much, MUCH happier when I focus on pleasing God and not on pleasing others, when I let his words rattle around in my brain:

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” ~Romans 8:38-39

2 Comments

  1. Shannon Dittemore
    Jul 15, 2013

    Good job, Krista! This stupid little monster attacks us all and you’re so right. It’s what God thinks that matters.

  2. Erica
    Jul 16, 2013

    I am dealing with this myself with the eBooks I publish. It has been half and half: five stars or one star. No in between for some reason, but I thank God someone is reading them. My books range from Christian Supernatural Fiction, to poetry, and other works.

    Just keep doing for God and others will receive the message you are conveying in your works. Naysayers or harshly critical folks have their own opinions and some may be valid but it can be hard when they act like sharks.

    As a book reviewer, I am “softly” critical as far as I see the good in most books and what could have been better, but many books I review receive at least four or five stars anyway- I love stories!

    I just checked out “Starring Me” and can not wait to read it!

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