I’ve “mentioned”:http://open-dialogue.com/blog/2006/08/08/pardon-me-but/ before that it’s sometimes hard to take a critique on your work. Your story is your baby. You’re proud of it, so you want everyone else to be proud of it, too. And really, what writer doesn’t _expect_ that their story is going to be an instant hit? That’s part of why we write – there’s a part of us that revels in the glory of being an acclaimed author (even if we aren’t).
I’m discovering that often, the best first thing to do with a story critique after I’ve read it is to sleep on it. Don’t immediately sit down to revise. Don’t let yourself fall into a depressed stupor. Don’t sit down to write a nasty response about how the one giving the critique is a loser, a hack, someone that doens’t know the first thing about story-writing. Read the critique on your work, then put it aside for the night and get a good night’s sleep. For me, that’s like hitting the reset button. It gives me a chance to let my emotions settle, to give my brain a chance to process it (subconsciously), and to give my body a chance to refresh itself so I can back and re-read the critique with a fresh and open mind. Then, and only then, am I really ready to do something with that critique, to look at my story more objectively and admit that, yes, this story does need work to polish it and make it better.
The story I’m working on currently has gone under critique twice now. The second version of the story was definitely better than the first. Comments from the second round of critique, though, have inspired me to go back and rewrite most of the story. My viewpoint character needs to change, and already I think the third version of the story will be better for it.