One of the essential elements of writing is feedback. We want it, right? People who read our books, point out where it is awesome, where it needs some improvement. We all know it is part of the process.
But it gets tricky after that. What if the person who reads it says that their least favorite part was the part you loved to write? What if they start with "I'm so impressed you wrote a whole book - it must have been hard work?" What if you realize they are sugar coating everything because they know what they need to tell you isn't what you want to hear?
What if this comes from an agent? Editor?
What we have to remember is that, until the cover is on and in a package outside our house, we can do what needs to be done to be received how we want it received.
What we really need to remember is that, when someone is giving us feedback, good or bad, they are sharing their opinions, thoughts and generally have taken the time out to help us. Ours is not the option to get defensive, tell them they just don't understand what good literature reads like, or anything like that. Ours is to say just two words.
Yes, they may be two of the hardest words to say sometimes, and they sometimes can be followed up with questions to see what we can improve. But remember, you haven't loved every book you've read, every movie you've watched, every song you've heard. And when (yes, I said when) our books have covers on them, there are going to be people who say things that may not be all love and praise.
Just like you.
How have you steadied yourself to understand better when reviews and feedback aren't quite what you wanted them to be?