I've wondered when it would happen. I'm getting older. I've seen a few things, and still, I tend to react badly to criticism - good or not.
Well, that was in the past. As I sat in on my Skyline writers' group yesterday, I realized a further growth. I wrote a couple days ago that I find myself better able to accept critiquing without all the hairs on the back of my neck rising, like some rabid dog staring down an enemy.
Yesterday, as the group winded down, I saw, truly saw what I have become. With the help of this group of gentle critiquers, I have learned that they have my best interests at heart.
I, like one of my characters, am cynical. It came about because I live in Cleveland. We are a cynical lot. We love to upbraid folks with a joke. I suppose it's because we used to be labeled, the mistake on the lake. You have to have thick skin to endure such vitriol and yet, we lash back with jokes laced with sarcasm. It's kind of a fun way to live. We are also self-deprecating. We laugh at ourselves, too.
Be that as it may, I sat at the table in awe of myself. *g* It's not often I get to look inside, and not be writing my book, and see what's changed.
I can sit (hallelujah) and let folks I trust look at my work and criticize it. I can accept and even relish their comments. I can go home and not be devastated. I will tell you a wee secret. I did not enjoy my yearly reviews at work. Go figure. I think I could do it now. Not take it personally. Accept it as true or false and go on.
This is a quality that is paramount, IMHO, for a writer. If I am to continue growing.
Life is growth.