How To Interpret Peer Feedback And Criticism

I strongly encourage you to NOT take peer feedback as gospel. Individual opinions are highly biased, and usually just that person’s individual preference.

Only if a ton of people in your target audience say the same thing, and nobody says the opposite, should you start to wonder if there is something there.

A lot of people like to give “advice” — but they’re just projecting their own preferences. 

For example, someone could read a funny passage and tell you that all humor is fluff and you should cut it. However, this is just a projection of a personal preference – not fact! Fluff is something that doesn’t add value to the reader. Laughing is a value add. If it makes someone laugh, it is worth including. If it doesn’t, it’s fluff.

Remember: Individual suggestions from strangers don’t matter. What matters is patterns that you see over dozens of responses or individual responses that you agree with.

You write your book for the people who are open to considering your point of view — not people who won’t give it a chance. Those people won’t even pick up the book, so you don’t need to worry about them.

Trust your instincts, and keep your head held high when faced with negative commentary!

If you haven’t received negative feedback yet but you’re worried about people assuming something about you or your views based on what you’re about to put out there then I say, just name it out loud and tell people your honest, empathetic thoughts on the issue(s).

As long as you’ve said your peace and been honest and empathetic, all reasonable people will understand. And unreasonable people aren’t who you’re writing for. They will ignore the book and for the few who don’t, their incorrect criticism just serves as effective marketing for you!

When in doubt: Own all of your doubts, insecurities and worries. If you shine light on them, then there’s nothing for people to criticize.

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