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Taking criticism is much like undergoing an enema — rarely a happily received procedure — only worse, as the resultant is less the egest, rather more the ingest, of ordure. One must appreciate that if one publishes on a public forum fiction and poetry being the equals of religion and politics in this respect — one shall have to take the forthcoming arrows to the heart and soul as graciously as one may find it possible to muster. Call the critics every obscene and foul moniker under, to one side, and beyond the sun in private; go wild, make effigies then stick pins doused in vinegar into them with venomous voodoo vim, but do not tell them they are wrong. Nor, incidentally, ought one, being duly piqued, send in the post remnants of one’s enema to said detractors, for this act indubitably fails to achieve the level of grace ideally required. One cannot tell others how to receive one’s work. Those who were critical in the first place will be moreso if one responds ungraciously, frowning in perpetuum upon the matter and generally being severely narked off. Try to take something from the experience as though a gift; re-examine your letters, channel your angst and pique into the next piece you write, and make of it your most perfectly crafted, finest opus yet. Then kill them.

 

 

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