Having been in writing critique groups for over 20 years, I've witnessed a lot of writers responding to critiques in a way that showed they just weren't ready for feedback.
Every writer has times when they struggle with feedback, even that which is supportive, gentle and constructive. This doesn't mean the writer is immature or an amateur or thin-skinned. It's all about timing and detachment. Here are some signs that will help you determine whether or not you stand ready to receive criticism over a certain project.
1)You don't mind if the whole thing ends up going nowhere. You won't feel devastated if the entire project ends up being scrapped. Why? You have invested in the process, and you know your own development is more important than this single product. What helps: having many, many more things in the works.
2))Your ego isn't tied up with it. You are aware it isn't you, simply a work you have created. (Tip: Have something else you base your self-worth on. Like being alive, and loved by the universe.)
3)You've had a cool-down period. Whether a day, a week, or five years, there is nothing like time away from the manuscript to allow you to return to it with a fresh, open frame of mind.
4) You can edit and identify weak points, without feeling hurt. On your own, you have begun cutting away unneeded text, scenes and words, without a sense of loss.
5) You can identify brilliant writing without feeling like you've reached the top. You enjoy the writing, yet know it is the result of plain hard work, combined with a creative source. You don't consider yourself superhuman.
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