…or a critique. Because hearing others tell us what needs to be changed in our work can be painful.
Because we are in love with our stories.
And we think they are perfect.
And we can’t imagine why the world doesn’t feel this way, too.

But reality hits and the critique comes in, and our rosy colored world can come crashing down.
(um, if this hasn’t happened to you, then you’re either the rare, perfect author, or you aren’t getting enough feedback on your work. You decide.)

We here at The Place (being K. A. Holt, Jessica Lee Anderson , E. Kristin Anderson, Madeline Smoot, and sometimes member Jenny Ziegler) have come up with a list to help you cope with this event.

We give you…


1) Drink eight cups of coffee
We recommend picking a favorite coffee mug for this step, and avoid anything that can be crushed (such as Styrofoam).

2) Hide the critique in the freezer

Things have a way of getting lost in the freezer, at least in mine. I’m thinking the critique could hang out with that half-full bag of frozen peas that never seems to get used. Or maybe those ice cubes in the far back that you have to chip off the walls.

3) Tell your cat or dog or tortoises about it

The love you. They agree with you. They listen and never tire of hearing your voice.
And they think you are the rare, perfect author.

4) Commiserate with writer friends at The Place.
Unless of course they were the ones to give you the critique. In that case, go back to step (3).

5) Cry.

6) Bury yourself in a plate of nachos and eat your way out.
If you’re going gluten-free, substitute yogurt and nuts for this step.
(But come on, you know you want the nachos.)

7) Take up belly dancing.
You would look fab in that belly dancing costume.

8 ) Use your Kung Fu skills to pummel a pillow

9) Try to hold off on responding for as long as possible.
Except for a nice thank you. There is always a place for a nice thank you in the world.

10) Read or watch something inspiring and make a plan of attack.
I recommend this video.

And then get busy revising!

pjhoover_casual1 PJ Hoover thinks waking up to a breakfast of nachos and coffee is not always a bad thing.

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Filed under P. J. Hoover


  1. Dang, those nachos look good. I obviously need to get to your part of the world more.

    I must say, though, I’m a little shocked that chocolate is not on your list. Chocolate is number ZERO, man.

    Ten points for the mugs, though. ;)

  2. Mmmm….nachos and coffee. Win.

  3. Just wanted you to know, PJ, on behalf of editors everywhere, that it really isn’t easy critiquing the work of authors, and asking for revisions. Most of us do think about how it’s going to feel to the person receiving the criticism, and we hope their professionalism outweighs their need for ego food. That said, I’ve never met a critique that didn’t benefit from pairing with a generous chunk of 75% dark chocolate. Every good wish with your writing!

    • Thanks, Ceci! It’s amazing what others can see in our work that we are blind to until it’s pointed out. And you’re totally right on the chocolate. Love that, though it works for me in all stages of the writing, not just the revisions :)
      Take care!

  4. Parker Peevyhouse

    Sleeping on it totally helps too. Although it makes for a thin pillow.

  5. Natalie Aguirre

    Great post. I could use the coffee right now. I might have to make a pot.

  6. What a wonderful post! I really appreciate it. Thank you and *HUGS* to you gals for caring so much for us writers! <3

  7. Pingback: How to deal with a revision request « One Writer’s Journey

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