I haven't been writing seriously for very long, probably about two years. But in those two years I have experienced some harsh critiques.
At first, they hurt, as anything that says your baby isn't good enough would. Okay, let me be honest. For a while they hurt. I would yell in my head at the people who critiqued them, saying they didn't understand my book, or that they were just being mean.
And sometimes that was true. But I also learned a lot from some of those critiques. Since then, I've been able to separate myself more from the critiques and to look at the critiques with a better eye, not letting my emotion get in the way as much. But it still hurts.
Every time I get a harsh critique, it reminds me to be a nice critiquer. It doesn't mean that I shouldn't be truthful. But there is always a way to make suggestions in a positive constructive way. And let me tell you positive and constructive critiques are soooo much more helpful than harsh ones.
I just got a critique back from the awesome Amanda Olivieri and her critique was amazing. She gave me the best advice without being harsh at all. And even though I have a lot more to change and fix, her critique actually made me feel invigorated to start revisions again! This is how all critiques should be.
Plus, you don't know what's going on in other peoples lives, if they've had a bad day, whatever. Wouldn't you rather build someone up than bring someone down? It's about making the MS the best that it can be, and I think that the best way to do this is to be positive in the critique.