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This pearl of wisdom for is everyone, not just Writers. As a matter of fact, the moments when someone has offered us crudely dealt harsh words is invaluable, even when we prefer to disregard them.
We all love to be told how great we are, how our work is impressive, how wonderful we are at our trade, but when we are told everything is perfect, how do we learn where we need to improve? Where do we get the motivation to do better? When you're at the top of the mountain, how do you climb higher? The thing is, we aren't perfect, we do need to do better, and there's always room to aspire for a higher level. And that's what those awkward, maddening, hurtful moments are good for, if nothing else. To give us ammunition, motivation, and something to ponder when we're done pontificating about how wonderful we are.
True enough, we tell ourselves that these "Bubble Bursters" are filled with jealousy, misinformation, or lack of understanding, and sometimes they are. But sometimes they're on to something and I'd wager it's worth your effort to consider it every time. Even if it exploded in your face like some kind of gift wrapped bomb from Wile E. Coyote, there's something you can learn from it.
Personally, I can pin point several points in my life where those words ("You're being small minded," "This is just unreadable," "There's no hook. No action."), equivalent to gut punches, have made me thankful. Thankful that they got the wheels turning, got me thinking from a new angle. And after cursing under my breath, crying, and getting through the embarrassment, I have found, more than the nice ones, those words that stung caused more evolution, more development in my skills and mindset than I ever could have thought (however bitterly I had to admit it.)
Before you quit the reading group, the critique circle, the friendship, think about what you're told. Decide if it's pride, discomfort, denial, or our unavoidable subjectivity with which we see the world that makes us want to run to the nearest chocolate cake and dig with our hands.
It takes practice, but when you open your mind and step away from your ego, personal growth is sure to happen.
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