OUCH – How to Turn Criticism & Insults into Motivation to Write

Not everyone will like your book, and that’s okay. It’s physically impossible to please everyone. So what if someone thinks your book is junk? There will always be someone who does love it, who does zone out at the dinner table thinking about your latest plot twist, and who does secretly pray for a sequel.

9 Ways to be More Confident in Your Writing

For today’s post, we’re trying something a bit different: our first official video reading of this post (three minutes), just in case you don’t have time to read. And at the bottom of this post, you’ll find a brief blooper reel to go with it.

Hello again, writers! Today we’re talking about a topic that has been on my mind lately: recovering after someone insults your writing, and turning it around into motivation. It’s easier than you might think!

If you clicked on this article, someone probably lobbed all sorts of meanness at you, your book, or your writing style. Or maybe you just know it will happen someday, and you want to be ready. Either way – props to you for trying to fix your hurt feelings instead of wallowing in it, as it’s so easy to do!

For writers, sharing your work with another person is a huge deal, especially if you’re unpublished. If anyone lets you be the first to read their writing, you shouldn’t take it lightly. It’s a sign of trust and love – which is why it hurts especially when that special person returns it with a sign of dismissal, or worse: an insult.

But don’t forget this overused, but oh, so true phrase: “everything happens for a reason.” So perhaps this “setback” is actually just the push you need to get writing again.

It’s exciting, isn’t it? Turning negativity into productivity with a Harry Potter-esque wave of the wand? It would change everything! You would no longer have to worry about negative feedback, one-star reviews, or scathing remarks ever again. You would hold the power, fearless writer.

Let’s get started!

Turning Criticism & Insults into Motivation to Write

1: Not everyone is going to love your writing.

I feel like I’m probably boring y’all over how much I’ve written this line. I typed it into the search bar on the righthand side of the site, and you know how many articles popped up? Ten.

And yet, I keep talking about it, stressing it time and time again because it’s just that important. It’s the first thing you need to accept when becoming a fearless writer.

  • You can’t please everyone.
  • You can’t write one single story that relates to everyone.
  • There will always be someone who doesn’t like your writing.

Here is an excerpt from 5 Things Healthy Writers DON’T Do:

Please, I beg of you – do not write a novel that you think would appeal to all age groups, beliefs, and stages of life.


Not only is this – once again – impossible, it makes for a dull story. No one will be able to connect with your story on a deeper level, because it’s so wide-spread.

And I think that about sums it up, doesn’t it?

2: Seek comfort in someone who wants you to succeed.

It doesn’t even have to be a fellow writer friend (though that is a plus). Just find someone who cares about you, cares about your book, and wants you to succeed almost more than you do.

If you don’t know anyone like this, don’t fret – there are plenty of safe writer groups online.

3: Develop a “prove ’em wrong” attitude.

This step is easy – just do a search for “prove them wrong quotes.” I recommend starting a Pinterest board for motivation. To get you started, here are some of the quotes I found:

“Tell me I can’t, then watch me work twice as hard to prove you wrong.”

“They told me I couldn’t. That’s why I did.”

“Never listen to the haters. Work hard and prove them wrong.”

“Being underestimated is one of the biggest competitive advantages you can have.”

“One day the people who didn’t believe in you will tell everyone how they met you.” – Johnny Depp

Want more relating to this topic? Check out the below posts for tons more inspiration! Until then, it’s my hope that this post (and all my other motivation-boosting posts) has helped you, inspired you, and got you shifting in your seat to get writing again.

And while you’re at it, why not check out the very first excerpt of my upcoming novel, The Girl Who Frosts the Cakes?

Happy writing, everyone!

The Only Writing Rules You’ll Ever Need – Being a Boss Writer

9 Ways to be More Confident in Your Writing (as told in Post-It Notes)

Very First, Super-Exclusive Excerpt from “The Girl Who Frosts the Cakes” – Happy New Year!

2 thoughts on “OUCH – How to Turn Criticism & Insults into Motivation to Write

  1. Hey Sam!
    Great post! I love seeing your beautiful face again! It’s been too long! You should do way more of these, though it probably takes up a lot of room. I loved the bloopers! Your laugh is so contagious! Thanks for posting, i always love them! Keep on writing!

    1. Thank you, girl! I miss you guys like crazy! Yes, those videos were fun, even if they took a few days to get done (not including the actual writing of the post). My director and I have been planning our next project. 😉 Thanks for the feedback!

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