Here at SGS, we’re fans of Dean Koontz– especially, Odd Thomas and the other six in the series, but mainly all of his books. This prolific author shares his experience with rejection and negativity (because for some reason, he says, people think he has never experienced it). He offers a pep talk on the NaNoWriMo site in which he encourages writers to learn the difference between “worthwhile criticism and mere naysaying.”
One of the hardest things a writer needs to do is learn to tell the difference between worthwhile criticism and mere naysaying. Here are a few ways to tell the difference.
1. Worthwhile criticism will be highly specific; naysaying will be a broad kind of negativism.
2. Worthwhile criticism of specific detail will be delivered in a helpful tone; naysaying will have a snarky edge to it.
3. Worthwhile criticism comes from people who have a deep experience of fiction—writing it, editing it, marketing it; naysaying comes from people who have done none of that.
To get on with your career, don’t waste time responding to the naysayers. Don’t dwell on what they’ve said. Stay true to your vision. Instead of letting their negativism get you down and slow you down, adopt an ‘oh-yeah?’ attitude and double your effort; move faster into the future. The world is full of people who say it can’t be done. If everyone listened to them, we’d still live in caves—and there would be no such thing as books.