My monthly writers' group met today again. Two writers emailed everyone a chapter to critique a few weeks ago. The time frame gave the rest of us an opportunity to read and make notes to present during the feedback time.
But it didn't go quite as planned.
I should have known and been prepared since I'm the facilitator.
Instead of critiquers critiquing, I listened to writers giving explanations. Beforehand. During. After.
I'm the first to admit I'm insecure about my writing. I want to explain everything. I want to justify why I did this or that.
But the reality is, if I want it published traditionally, I'm not going to be able to give a fifteen minute discourse to someone. I might be allowed only one query line, one chapter or one five minute session to convince another person that my work has merit.
As a writer, I need to take in feedback. Quietly. Using listening skills. Later, and when the opportunity presents itself, I can ask further questions. But I should never try to convince or persuade anyone after the fact.
Because in the end, it's up to me to reject or accept any feedback anyways.
How have you handled a critique before?