Every writer struggles with criticism. A friend of mine breaks out the M&Ms every time she gets a revision letter from her editor. All of us handle it differently, but like grief, it tends to follow a pattern.
It's easy to get stuck between anger and bargaining. Anger gives us a sense of purpose. In workshop, this is often when we start to think or say bad things about our critiques, because that's better than believing bad things about our writing. My friend (see above) is more likely to breeze past anger and jump into bargaining (right after the very trope-ish but true dependence on chocolate). Me, I like anger, so if your first response is to launch into a vehement and often silent argument with your critiquer? I get you.
But at some point, hopefully, I chill out enough to move to depression (no chocolate, just deep self-loathing). Finally, I get to the more balanced response of acceptance: Ok, so they don't get my genius. It's not their fault, because my vision doesn't unfold on the page. What do I need to change, fix, delete, add-to, in order for the reader to get me?
As you review any criticism, consider how you can move to a more balanced and emotionally-healthy response. Acceptance isn't acceptance that your writing is bad. Acceptance is the realization that you're human and your writing isn't perfect. Acceptance is the realization that your critiquer--be it teacher, classmates, or editor--may have a point.
See my YouTube video about some typical responses to workshop: Seeking Blessings for the end of the world
Writer Reference (Blogroll)
Show Don't Tell
Wired for Story
Genre by any other name
He for She
A Little is Enough
Writing 17 minutes at a time
The Unlisted List:
The best women nonfiction writers.
Aubrey Hirsh' Beginner's Guide to publishing with format templates and more
Agent Query 15 posts on writing query ltrs
Platform Action Plan
Writer, college professor, lover of story, fan of all things bookish. Plus chocolate, because who doesn't love chocolate.