Stage 1: Excitement
An email pops up in my inbox and my heart starts beating faster. Be it from an crit partner, a beta reader or an agent, the very presence of an email in that inbox is enough to make me dance with impatience as I wait for it to load.
Stage 2: Dread
Wait. This is an email relating to my writing. What if it's bad news? What if the sender HATED my work? Maybe I shouldn't read it. At least not until I'm in a better mood. What if my fragile, artistic ego can't take the rejection?
Stage 3: Despair
It was worse than I thought. Compliment, compliment, compliment, criticism, compliment, compliment. My writing must be terrible! What was I thinking, sending this out into the world? I'm a hack! I should never write again!
Stage 4: Exuberance
I'm going to change EVERYTHING! Every word of every critique must be right! How could I have been so blind? Let's rename characters and change major plot points and cut entire scenes! No need to rework anything. Let's just start over!
Stage 5: Acceptance
Okay, I see what they were REALLY saying and I see why. Sure, this part is a little slow, but I can fix it. And while this particular writer didn't like this line, I do and I'm the writer. This is my baby and I can take in all this feedback, use the parts that resonate with me and confidently stick to my guns on the rest. I love my story. I love feedback. Let's do this again! Who else can I send it to?