Accepting Feedback With Grace

Have you ever been in the place where you want feedback on your writing, you want people to tear it a part and give you their best critique. But then, when you actually give it to them and you see the edits and critiques start coming in, you cringe. You feel like a horrible writer. Why didn’t you think to word that sentence like that? Or, why didn’t you know to put that comma there?

It can be discouraging. But as writers, it’s something we need to learn to push through and learn to accept. Feedback is one of the most beneficial tools for writers, it’s a key element for us to grow in our craft.

So how can we learn to accept critique with grace? How do we learn to not cringe every time someone makes a suggestion for our story? How do we become tough enough that we don’t shut down when feedback is given?

Let’s dive in and figure out.

#1 Have a Plan

If you don’t have a plan going forward then it’s going to be easy to get overwhelmed when you open your Google doc to possibly hundreds of edits. Don’t expect it to be easy, it won’t be. No matter who you are, it can be hard to read people’s critique on what you wrote. This story is your baby and nobody takes kindly to people pointing out all the faults their baby has.

But don’t look at it that way. Remember that these are people who only want to see you succeed and that is why they’re giving you this feedback. Accept it. And have a plan. Decide before you open your doc how long you’re going to spend on it today.

Maybe you carved out half an hour to work on it today, so know going into it that’s all you’re spending at it. You don’t have to go through all the edits in one day. Take them one at a time and see how much you can get done in the time you alloted today. Then close the doc and go back to it the next day.

Sometimes, the more you force yourself to work on it, the more you’re going to feel discouraged and depressed. For me, I have found having a certain amount of time allowed for the day helps me to stay motivated instead of disheartened. Figure out what works for you and create your game plan.

#2 Ask Questions

Don’t feel bad about asking questions. If you’re unsure why someone made a certain edit, then ask them. Ask them to explain better why they made that suggestion. Maybe you don’t understand what they meant by their suggestions or maybe you don’t understand why they want you to make that change. Simply ask them. As long as you’re courteous, they won’t mind you asking for a better explanation.

#3 Don’t Forget Your Strengths

As you’re reading through comments on your Google doc, or hearing from a friend how they think your story can be stronger, all you see are the weaknesses. And often times you forget your strengths. But through all the critiques you can’t lose sight of the fact that you are an amazing writer.

That’s often the leading factor to feeling depressed by feedback—forgetting how amazing you are. And don’t feel prideful for thinking that! You are an amazing writer and this feedback on your story is only going to make you more amazing as a writer! Think of it that way and nine times out of ten you won’t feel so discouraged over feedback. (Notice how I said nine times out of ten… there will always be those rare times when the only thing that can help you is a pound of chocolate. Don’t forget to have plenty on hand if you’re asking for feedback.)

#4 Thank Them

And, last of all, thank the people giving you feedback. Not only do they deserve a huge dose of appreciation for taking the time to critique your story, but by thanking them it will help you to feel more thankful as well. Even if you don’t feel like their feedback was helpful, thank them anyways. Gratitude is the best cure for discouragement.


Accepting feedback can be hard. Sometimes that’s all there is to it. But I hope that this article has been helpful in learning how to accept it with grace and reminding you of some valuable points.

Because it is easy to feel discouraged from feedback. Too easy in fact. I recently shared the first three chapters of one of my novels with beta readers… easy, right? Wrong. From the start I was nervous. I had shared my writing with family and close friends, but never much past that. Especially not three whole chapters. I was terrified what people would say. Then the comments started pouring in.

I’m not proud to say, for several days I ignored the doc.

I saw most of the comments as they came through in my notifications and, well, it didn’t look pretty. All I saw was edit after edit. So many changes. Did no one even like my story? It was so discouraging.

But then I did it, I took the plunge. I opened the doc and started taking the suggestions and edits one by one. And you know what? It wasn’t even that bad! I agreed with the majority of the edits and what I hadn’t seen in my notifications was how much everyone was loving it!

Sometimes you can trick yourself into believing only half the story, but you have to open your mind to the whole picture. You can’t limit your view to only what the notifications say because when you open the doc you’ll see the true beauty. Because the joy of someone else loving your story is beautiful indeed.

Your turn!

Do you find it hard to accept feedback? What do you do when you become overwhelmed by critiques? How do you accept them with grace and learn/grow from them as a result?

Blessings, Allyson


14 thoughts on “Accepting Feedback With Grace

  1. *coughs* Um, did you happen to be reading my mind today? Seriously, I’ve had betas for my third novel this month, and it can be disheartening to see all the things they point out or correct! Fortunately, I’ve got some amazing readers who also point out what they love! And this reminder to accept feedback with grace was right on time! Thank you for sharing, Allyson!!! 😊

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Haha! That’s great that it was what you needed to hear. 🤗 I know it was what I needed to write. That’s great! I always love when beta readers say what needs fixed but also points out what they love as well. I’m so glad it was able to bless you! You’re welcome!! 💙

      Liked by 1 person

  2. AH, I’m not the only girl who cringes when other people edit her stories!! THANK YOU. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOUUUUUUU!!!!

    LOL, with that aside…Yessss, I needed this!! (Seriously, I do NOT like people reading my stories, and I want to either run away or sink into the floor…which is bad, considering I want to publish one day Lord willing; but well, I’ll survive XD.) It is so easy to forget the good things though…or that it’s not prideful to think that you’re a good writer as LONG as you don’t get an inflated ego…
    (Can an ego be inflated like a bounce house? You get what I mean haha…)

    But thank you again for this post!! Highly needed as I previously mentioned! 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Haha! You are most definitely not!! 😂 I think, as writers, we love our stories so much that we can’t stand the thought of other people not.

      I’m so glad it helped you! (Aww! Yeah, it can hard!! 😅 I don’t blame you, I feel that way a lot of times.) Yes, I don’t see the harm in believing our stories are good. I think we need that self confidence-as long as we don’t let it go too far. (Haha!!)

      You’re welcome! I’m so glad it was what you needed! 💙


  3. YES! This is such a great way to put it!!! I remember when I first found other writer friends, and we decided to critique each other’s writing, they told me to rip their writing to shreds and pretend they had no feelings. I was astonished, and then slowly I began to understand what they meant, and why it was so important to be brutally honest. Their grace and acceptance of my (much-less-experienced) suggestions gave me the courage to say the same to them. We’ve grown so much as a result, and aside from the constructive critiques, we’ve fallen in love with each other’s stories to the point where we’ll honestly point something out because we WANT it to be the absolute best it can!

    Anyway, enough of my rambling. XD This was a great post! And the idea of taking things slowly is a good one! It’s much better than being overwhelmed! And I hope the rest of the work on your novel goes smashingly! 😀 Thank you for such a wonderful post!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s great that you have such an amazing critique group! It sounds like a great thing for you. I think it’s very beneficial for writers to have people like that around them to freely point out errors or problems needing fixed. But not in a mean way! Just writers helping writers. I think sometimes people are too afraid to hurt the writer’s feelings with their critiques, but they don’t realize that the harsher they are, the more it helps! 😂 As long as we know how to take it gracefully.

      I’m glad you liked it! (Haha! I loved your ramble!) Yes, taking it slow-especially when you have a lot of edits-is very helpful in not feeling overwhelmed! Thanks! I hope so too!


  4. Yes! Whew, my first time with beta readers, that weren’t close friends, was…Rough. it was hard to take the edits because I had read my book soooooo many times! I was sure it couldn’t have that many problems. Ha, wrong. But at the same time I knew I wanted my book to be the best it could possibly be, so I buckled down and charged ahead. My betas and I became great friends through the process and my story is so much better than before! All thanks to them!
    I like to say it’s not all ice cream and cake…but some of it is. My betas would leave little comments at the end of chapters or highlight something they loved and let me know! Or comment their suspense for the coming scene or pity for the characters. It was really an awesome experience! I loved all the little encouraging tidbits they dropped along the way, it helps the edits not seem so harsh.
    My theory when editing someone else’s work is always criticism before praise. Get the no fun stuff out of the way and then build them back up by pointing out all the things they did right or that you loved!
    Thanks for the post, Allyson! I loved it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes to all of that! Thanks so much for sharing your process, Kayti! That is so true to the whole feedback process! I especially love how you said criticism before praise. That’s so good, and so true! We need the criticism but we also need the praise to build us back up. Nobody wants to be critiqued so much that they lose confidence in their writing.
      You’re welcome! I’m so glad you enjoyed it!!

      Liked by 1 person

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