C.M. Harris Books

The Battle of Constructive Criticism

Constructive Criticism is defined as: ” the process of offering valid and well-reasoned opinions about the work of others, usually involving both positive and negative comments, in a friendly manner rather than an oppositional one.”

As a graphic designer, I received my fair share of constructive criticism on design projects, but when you’ve written your very first book and receive so many great reviews you always have the fear that one person will deliver that low rating, it’s coming, you just never know how soon. 

Constructive criticism gives you the opportunity to validate yourself and whether it’s positive or even negative it is still very beneficial. For my design projects, I never took the negative criticism as a personal attack but used it as a guide to improve my design and re-evaluate my work, but when writing your very first book and receiving the first negative review, it feels like a dagger — a personal attack. 

Although it’s not personal but when you’ve spilled everything you had into a book you’ve worked so hard on and are so proud of that the first negative review definitely feels like one. At first, I was heartbroken and a bit shocked by such a harsh and rude critique, but I had to remind myself to take the good with the bad and use it as fuel to ignite the success of the next book. 

As a new author who knew nothing about the book writing process, there were ups and downs and a lot to learn, but I am enjoying every step of it. Being an author, you, of course, open yourself up to criticism and are bound to receive negative reviews as you can’t please everyone. The message of my books is what is most important, and if one person wants to focus on a few grammatical errors, that is their loss. I still have a lot to learn and look forward to what is ahead.

I like to remind myself of a quote from the 2005 Batman Begins, Alfred asks Bruce, “…And why do we fall Bruce?, to learn to pick ourselves up. “ 

The feeling of defeat will pass, but the important part is to remember that through the good and the bad, you have to keep going. Pick yourself up and keep pushing forward. 


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