So, I entered a blogfest in which you post the first 250 words of a story. (You may have read the entry earlier this week.) I got some pretty good feedback on it. Many people said, "You just need to tighten it up a little and it'll really pop." And then there were a few comments that seemed to say, "You're doing this wrong. Try harder." Granted, that is not what was really being said, but that's how it felt.
I was talking to my husband about it and told him I needed to start over on the whole thing. He said, "Aren't you going a little overboard? You don't have to do anything, if you don't want to." And you know, he was right.
A lot of the time, my first reaction to criticism is to think that I'm not good at anything. I'm obviously missing the boat. The story has started in the wrong place. I need more of something to make it better. And I want to scrap everything good and meaningful and try to make it into something more acceptable.
What is it about this profession that makes us rely so heavily on the opinions of others? Maybe it's the isolation. Maybe it's the lack of visible success. I don't know. What I do know is that I have to do this for myself and not for what other people think. Does that mean I don't listen to criticism? No. Does it mean I need to trust myself a little more? Yes.
So, friends, do you go overboard like me? How do you handle criticisms?