"We should be careful to get out of an experience only the wisdom that is within it - and stop there; lest we be like the cat that sits down on a hot stove lid. She will never sit down on a hot stove lid again - and that is well; but also she will never sit down on a cold one any more."
~ Mark Twain
Okay, re-read that. You know you want to. Mark Twain is one of my English teacher literary heroes. The great debate rages about which is the GREAT AMERICAN NOVEL: Grapes of Wrath or Huckleberry Finn? Well, anything by Twain will always get my vote. The man was a genius.
So how does this particular Mark Twain quote apply to you? Well, we are always learning as writers, oftentimes because we got "burned" somehow: stinging critiques, painful rejections, blistering criticisms . . . okay, fine. There are lessons within that pain.
What we need to be careful of, though, is letting those moments scare us away from trying again. My father-in-law is an AMAZING writer--seriously amazing. But he let a mentor's constructive criticism freeze him. He never writes anymore. He decided he wasn't good enough, so why bother trying? He walked away from something he loved to avoid the burn. That is NOT okay.
Learn from the process--good and bad--and then try again. And again. And again.
Have a wonderful weekend, friends!