I think one of the most difficult concepts for writers to accept is that a rejection, bad review, or even a negative critique is simply that one person’s opinion. I can tell myself that, but still my first reaction is “The story sucks,” or “I suck as a writer.”
Of course, if a lot of agents and editors reject a ms, I do need to take a closer look at the ms and see if maybe there is a problem. If the agent or editor gives a reason for the rejection, that helps take the sting out of the process, and may explain why the story was rejected. On the other hand, the generic statement—this does not fit our needs at the moment—tells me nothing. Mentally I always add, because your writing is terrible, Maris, and will never fit our needs.
With a review, how I react depends on who’s reviewing the story and what’s said. I’ve had some reviews in the past where I wondered what book the reviewer read because nothing in the review related to my book. And if the book has received several positive reviews, I usually can shrug off the negative review and tell myself, Well, that’s her opinion
If I submit something to a critique group or to someone I ask to read my ms and give me a critique, my reaction will usually depend on the comments given. If a critique is really negative, I may wonder if they read the same story I wrote, but with a critique group or individual, I can ask questions. “Why do you feel this doesn’t work?”
There are some readers who have a personal bias that influences their reactions. For example, if the reader herself would never consider crossing a police tape barricade to enter a house, who thinks it’s wrong to break the law for any reason, her response that my heroine shouldn’t do so simply reflects her opinion. But if she or several in a critique group have a problem understanding my heroine’s motivation for doing so, then that’s different. That’s something I need to work on so I can change their opinion.
We don’t all like the same things and we don’t all see things in the same way, so a negative reaction to something may simply be that person’s opinion.
And in my opinion, there are a lot of people who took this challenge. Check out the list. A-to-Z Blogging Challenge