“Liar,” I said then narrowed my eyes at the computer screen. This was my reaction to two of three reviews I received from fellow writers on a chapter of my MS. The first review I’d had of the piece was devastating, eviscerating my style, phrasing and pacing. This review I took to heart and could repeat from memory. The second and third reviews did highlight weakness in the work, but I found it hard to trust the strength’s they raved about after being beaten bloody by such a blithe dismal from the first review. When is it okay to trust yourself and others that something you have written is good? Sometimes, critique circles are brilliant for aspiring writers. You find like-minded people who genuinely want to help and will give concise, targeted feedback. Other times it’s not so great and you either get flattered with hollow compliments or plunged into the depths of despair, for someone has taken it upon themselves to tell you cant write, shouldn’t write and would do better to never set your fingers on a keyboard again. Luckily, I have only ever had once such review, and my reviews since have been much more constructive. Not always praising, but constructive. Even when positive, criticism hurts. But it makes you a better writer. Agree?

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