(I'm looking at you writers, poets, painters, potters, crafters, inventors, and other Makers of Things.)
How to Deal with Criticism
1. Go ahead and receive the criticism. Study it. Feel it. It's like diving into the deep end of the pool: immerse yourself all at once.
2. Write down everything about the criticism that bothers you (and maybe eek out a response to why).
3. Write down everything that seems useful about the criticism (and perhaps how it will help you in this and on future projects).
4. Love yourself. Go take the hot bath and eat the ice cream. Treat yourself to the massage, go for the walk, or read the book.
5. Remember that, even if the piece is bad, it's a stepping stone to bigger things. You need the ugly projects to get to the beautiful ones.
6. Look at the criticism once more. Are there deeper wounds being felt (such as from a parent, teacher, or old mentor)? Address these.
7. Write a letter to the critic. Defend your work but acknowledge what was helpful about the criticism provided. DO NOT send this letter.
8. Brainstorm your next project. Make a plan. Set a date.
9. Get back out there. Create.