A few thoughts on self-criticism.

We don't always like what we put on the page. Understatement. The inadequacy can be shameful, disgusting, and painful. Some days, I don't keep more than a phrase. The brushwork seems sloppy, and the proportions are off. I have thrown away paintings and whole journals without regret.

Some amateur artists feel deeply astonished by their own work. They step back to admire their blocky monotone watercolor with great pride, or ramble about the wittiness of their dialogue while readers search desperately for positive things to say.

While constantly feeling that your work doesn't measure up is frustrating, the ability to criticize your own work is a gift. It drives advancement, because the voice that says "That's not good enough." is the same one that says "I can do better."

Sometimes you've got to produce a whole lot of crap before feeling satisfied- and that makes it even more rewarding.

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