In the past I have received emails from readers who have felt personally insulted when they have read a bad review about one of my books. Firstly, I thank you for your solidarity. Secondly: don’t take the critics too seriously! Just ask: “if you can do better, why don’t you write a book?”
After 20 years of writing, I have come to some conclusions which have helped me a lot in my books. In “The Zahir”, the main character knows already, even before his book is published, what critics are going to say.
It is not up to me to criticize the critics – I am a writer. When I meet one of them (and I meet them very often) they are normally embarrassed. They try to be nice, as if I was insulted. They are normally surprised with my reaction ( “I don’t take your comments as a personal offense”).
Why am I writing this? Because I am convinced that most of you may feel hurt when someone criticizes your work. As I said before, don’t take critics too seriously. Don’t give them the importance they don’t have. They are trying to make a living, and that’s all.
If I did not manage to convince you, please read the comments below:
Do what you feel in your heart to be right, for you’ll be criticized anyway. ~ Anna Eleanor Roosevelt
Critics should find meaningful work ~ John Grisham
To escape criticism “” do nothing, say nothing, be nothing. ~ Elbert Hubbard
It isn’t what they say about you, it’s what they whisper. ~ Errol Flynn
If criticism had any power to harm, the skunk would be extinct by now. ~ Fred Allen
Don’t be afraid of opposition. Remember, a kite rises against, not with, the wind. ~ Hamilton Mabie
There is no defense against criticism except obscurity. ~ Joseph Addison
I have always been very fond of them (drama critics) . . . I think it is so frightfully clever of them to go night after night to the theatre and know so little about it. ~ Noel Coward
All the world’s a stage, and all the clergymen critics. ~ Gregory Nunn
A fly, Sir, may sting a stately horse and make him wince; but one is but an insect, and the other is a horse still. ~ Samuel Johnson
Critics don’t buy records. They get ’em free. ~ Nat King Cole
Critics search for ages for the wrong word, which, to give them credit, they eventually find. ~ Peter Ustinov
I don’t like to write like God. It is only because you never do it, though, that the critics think you can’t do it ~ Ernest Hemingway (Nobel Prize of Literature)
Critics are like eunuchs in a harem; they know how it’s done, they’ve seen it done every day, but they’re unable to do it themselves.