Processing and Accepting Peer Reviews (even if they’re negative)

One of the great things about participating in writing groups is the opportunity to have your work critiqued by your peers. This can also be one of the hardest things – your peers can often cut you in two with their critiques.

Let’s face it, if you have thin skin and overreact to any comments about your work, you need to have an attitude adjustment. Not everyone is going to jump up and down when they read your mother’s favorite story.

But on a practical note:

Peer reviews are simply one person’s opinion UNLESS they give you precise feedback. (They’ve included detailed information about how the grammar doesn’t work, typos, syntax errors, and other technical comments.)

Peer reviews should be used as the benchmark for your first or second draft. Do most of the readers express harsh criticism? Maybe it’s the story OR your writing. Evaluate your process. Take your own critical look at the concept. Did you do it justice, or did you hurry to produce ‘something’ to meet a prompt or a deadline?

Watch out for the Revenge reviews. Quite often, in a peer review situation, a writer who is hurt by your critique of their work will read and review your work and leave a snide, negative remark. Take these critiques for what they are – sour grapes.

The Other Side of Things:

Take your time when you review the work of others. Start out with a positive comment about the piece, and then ‘gently’ approach the things you saw that didn’t work or were poorly written. End on a positive note.

Your reviews will be accepted and appreciated if you are honest and fair. When reviewing others’ work, keep in mind that they feel the same way about their work as you think of yours.

Until next time,

~Mustang Patty~

Published by Mustang Patty

I am finally a full-time author, who writes legal thrillers, how-to- books, short stories, flash fiction, a tiny bit of poetry, and Blog posts. My published works include 'Guilty until Proven Innocent,' 'Innocent for the Moment,' and 'Moment by Moment.' This is a trilogy called the Jill Adair Series. Additionally, I've written a collection of short stories about my dogs, Howie and Bernie - with a 2nd Collection coming in late 2021. I'm also coordinating an Anthology of Short Stories called, '2021 Indie Authors Short Story Anthology.' This book will be available on on August 1st of 2021. (The 2020 Indie Authors Short Story Anthology is currently available on - the collection includes 30 stories, written by 18 different Authors from three continents.) I am married to my wonderful hubby of over 37 years, and I have two grown children, named Heather and Gregory. I've been blessed with two beautiful grandbabies, Heather Rose and Logan Ernest.

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