Can I be wrong?

There’s no doubt that criticism is important. It’s how we improve ourselves. And while it sucks, dealing with rejection is something that everyone will have to deal with at some point. How I respond to these things depends on one very important thing: do I agree with what I’m being told?

No one is harder on me then myself. Chances are, any criticism someone has of me or my work has already been considered, gone over four times, and either accepted or rejected. When someone poses a criticism that I agree with, I will kindly listen and nod my head in assent. In my mind I have already acknowledged the criticism, and am working on ways to fix it.

Hearing my own critiques confirmed by someone else does have its advantages. It’s reassuring to know that mistakes and issues aren’t creations of a self-loathing, hateful and vindictive psyche. By getting confirmation, I am able to recognize actual problems with my works and spend my time fixing them instead of working on imaginary issues.

When I disagree with a criticism or rejection though… that’s when I get grumpy. And angry And sarcastic. And most other negative moods out there. I make mistakes. Lots of them. But I like to delude myself into thinking that I am self-aware enough to see them myself.

Of course this isn’t the case. So when someone comes up to me with a criticism that I haven’t noticed, my first reaction is hostile. “No, you’re wrong. And stupid. And you smell. Go away.”

Eventually though, after a cooling down period that can range from a few minutes to a few months, I reevaluate. And sometimes my initial reaction is what I stick with. What someone else sees as a problem, I may look at as a stylistic choice. And other times.. well, other times they’re right. And I have to admit that even I make mistakes.

I don’t like admitting that.

In his pretend life, August Baker is a retail monkey who channels anger and loathing into something vaguely resembling literature. In his real life, he is a Space Pirate.

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