You need criticism almost as much as you need encouragement. Someone has to tell you what is in your work that hurts you or the work itself. You simply can’t see the whole picture-ever-and you will never become objective enough to see your own work clearly. You’ve got to have discerning folk available who will give their honest opinions. Some of these people will be good friends, close enough that they will risk making you mad or hurting your feelings. Some of your best critics will be people who don’t really care about you-they may not even like you or your project-but their experience and perception make their statements worth listening to.
– from “The Soul Tells a Story: Engaging Creativity with Spirituality in the Writing Life” by Vinita Hampton Wright Loyola Press