*This is a reprint from my Homeschool Blogger blog, February 2008*
I subscribe to Writer's Digest, have for about 8 years. I remember back when I was in high school and I borrowed the magazine from the public library. I thought I was so smart and important at the time and I began writing a novel just to prove to everyone that I could do it. I wrote about three chapters and then sent those pages in to a publisher and asked if they'd publish my book.
I made a lot of mistakes with that submission but the editor who received it was kind. She told me that next time I should send an SASE (self-addressed stamped envelope) with a submission. Then she proceeded to tell me that my story wouldn't work for them. She picked it apart in a gracious manner.
Editors today aren't all that gracious. They receive thousands of submissions yearly - some monthly - and they just don't have the patience of a saint. I've received all sorts of rejections and most of them are form letters, but a few have been in the form of a personalized letter. Others have gone a step further and critiqued my manuscripts, which in my book is a blessing. I can always take the suggestions and improve my work before sending it out to someone else, which I almost always do. I say almost always because I decided early on that I wouldn't compromise my convictions and write something that is dishonoring to God; an improvement has to improve, not morally decline.
All this is to say that if someone criticizes your writing, don't immediately throw it away and pout forever. Take their comments to heart and seriously ask yourself if your criticizer was right. Could you improve? If so, make the needed changes and thank the Lord that someone was caring enough to help you.