I've received a "bad" critique. How do I handle it? Knowledge Base

Handle it with professionalism. At some point in our writing careers, we’ll receive feedback or reviews that are less than stellar, less than useful, and often completely off-base. It is going to happen.

So, how do you—as an aspiring professional writer—react to negative feedback from your peers or audience?

We suggest you take the feedback, read it over in case there are some gems worth considering, and then file it away. Thank the critic for their time; then turn your focus to other critiques that will better help you improve.

In the event that you continue to receive consistently poor critiques from the same member, consider opening a private discussion with that member before assuming their ineptitude. It is likely that they don’t understand your work, or that they lack the skills to effectively communicate their opinions in a structured manner1.

The option to request that a member refrain from further critique is always open.

  1. This may be quite clear if their critiques do not follow some consistent format—in such cases, you can suggest they review the Critique Guidelines. ↩︎

Last Edited: 7 months ago