As new writers, we like to try to help each other out as often as possible. Hence the reason why so many fledgling writers following other fledgling writer's blogs, and why message boards for aspiring writers never experience a shortage of posters.
We like knowing there are others out there suffering from the same trials & tribulations we are. We get tremendously happy (right after the seething jealousy abates) when one of our fellow fledglings gets a request for a full manuscript, lands an agent, or *gasp* gets a publishing deal.
But the one thing we have to keep in mind is that we're all just novices.
I've seen people get so bewildered when they post their query for a critique and watch helpless as it gets torn to shreds. I totally get the bewildered feeling, because I was there! A lot of good people gave me sound advice, but not all of it was relevant. There were several people that contradicted each other on the advice they gave. In fact, there were even some people that gave advice I've seen explicitly repeated by several agents NOT to do in a query.
I was a little worried when my newest beta (my new writing buddy, Jaime) first started reading my ms, because I thought. What if she just doesn't get my style? What if she starts nitpicking over things that I don't think need to be nitpicked over? How would I know if I was right, or if SHE was right?
Luckily, I didn't have to worry about that, because she was very complimentary & the critique that she gave me about the plausibility of my ending was valid. She had solid reasoning to back it up & her advice made sense to me. It felt right and that's how I knew it was something I needed to focus on.
Bottom line: the whole experience - from query critiquing to beta reading on my ms - taught me a very important lesson (something I think will come in handy when it comes to dealing with agents & editors in the future to). Everyone is always going to have an opinion, and you have to be willing to give credence to the critique of another -- BUT, the only time you should heed advice is if it makes sense to you & feels right.
In the end, as my father would say ... opinions are like ********, everybody has one.
So, how do you all handle critiques & advice? Do you doubt yourself & get too easily swayed by the opinions of others? Do you have a problem accepting advice, because you really don't believe anyone knows how to write like you do? Or have you found a pretty good rhythm in figuring out what works for you & what doesn't when it comes to feedback?