No? Me, neither. My insecurity expects Flush-The-Piece-Now and my insane optimism hopes First-Draft-Perfect!!! Even though reality falls somewhere in the middle, I still have to push through my fear.
Every critique can be scary when I've put my heart into every word and brush stroke. Early on, even constructive criticism felt totally negative—personal signs of failure—no matter how kindly delivered. But even as I shed some tears, I told myself, Next time, I'm gonna nail it...
At some point, I inched my ego aside, focusing more on refining my craft, trusting my critique group's feedback. Recognizing the genius of many of their recommendations. And my work greatly improved.
Today, I get through the post-critique blues by remembering:
1. Before I start my revision, give myself a few days to pack away negative self-talk (Again I failed...) and those knee-jerk reactions (What do those hacks know, anyway?)
2. As a writer/illustrator, I have my own unique voice and vision. It's tempting for well-meaning co-members to push me towards their own genre and stylistic direction.
3. Consider the group's helpfulness. Each writer/ illustrator group will uniquely evolve over time. If criticism overpowers the positive, the group moves from healthy to toxic. Longstanding groups practice truth, grace and encouragement, mutually pushing each other towards excellence.
After each critique, I still remind myself, Next time, I'm gonna nail it! And a good group can help you accomplish that—with some gentle hammering. (Ouch. Nope, keep going. This pain is good...)