Thicken your skin – sharpen your resolve

One thing an author or artist needs to develop very quickly to survive in this writing game is a thick skin.
I’m just new to this game, with only three novellas, a graphic novel and less than a handful of short stories published, so my opinion might not count for much, but I wanted to put this in writing, even if only to quell my own anxiety.
Bad reviews are going to happen – they’re a fact of life. You put your writing or art out there and it’s going to be criticised; torn to pieces even. It will hurt your very precious ego. You will read that review and feel absolutely gutted, enraged. You will even be tempted to respond in kind and promptly tell that reviewer that they don’t know what they’re talking about.
Accept very early on that, despite what you think, NOT EVERYONE IS GOING TO LIKE YOUR STORY OR ART. Accept that people are entitled to their opinion. Accept that this is the life of a creator and MOVE ON.
Rejections are the other bane of a writer’s existence. Even multi-published authors will feel its sting many times during the course of their career.
The only way to deal with these bad reviews and rejections is to keep writing, keep drawing. Do it for yourself every time.
I’m very happy with what I have created over these past few years. Just to be published is a privilege that you have to earn and foster. I may not be a best-selling author, but that doesn’t bother me. I’m a storyteller; if I’m not writing stories then I don’t feel complete. I’ll keep creating until I reach the grave and if people like what they read and see then great – and if they don’t – well they’re entitled to feel that way, just as I’m entitled to keep doing what I love to do, no matter what the bad reviews say.

About darkscrybe

Two-time international Bram Stoker Award-nominee®*, Greg Chapman is a horror author and artist based in Queensland, Australia. Greg is the author of several novels, novellas and short stories, including his award-nominated debut novel, Hollow House (Omnium Gatherum) and collections, Vaudeville and Other Nightmares (Specul8 Publishing) and This Sublime Darkness and Other Dark Stories (Things in the Well Publications). He is also a horror artist and his first graphic novel Witch Hunts: A Graphic History of the Burning Times, (McFarland & Company) written by authors Rocky Wood and Lisa Morton, won the Superior Achievement in a Graphic Novel category at the Bram Stoker Awards® in 2013. He is also the current President of the Australasian Horror Writers Association. Greg lives in Rockhampton with his wife and their two daughters. * Superior Achievement in a First Novel for Hollow House (2016) and Superior Achievement in Short Fiction, for “The Book of Last Words” (2019)
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1 Response to Thicken your skin – sharpen your resolve

  1. Hear, hear, Greg, but hang in there – the best is yet to come – in horror and successes 🙂

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