I deal with critiques in two different areas of my life. Writing, obviously, but also in speech. At a meet the student speaks in three rounds. They have a different judge each round and each judge writes up a critique sheet for them, critiquing their performance.
I have taught my students that these critiques are one person's opinion. We decide what advice to take and what to leave. Normally the judges give great advice and we use it to make the performance better. Sometimes they don't.
Last week one of my Humorous girls, (Humor is one of the categories) received a critique telling her she was monotone and overly sarcastic. We told her to ignore it. In fact, we told her the judge must be deaf, because she is far from monotone. She is hilarious! We also pointed out that no other judge has ever told her that, and that they have all told her she is very animated and talented.
I'm telling this story because I was glad I could point it out to myself recently when I received a very harsh critique on part of one of my manuscripts. Basically the person hated it. It bothered me at first, but then I reminded myself that it was the same ten pages that had gotten an agent to request a full and an editor to say she loved my voice.
It's all subjective. It's all personal opinion. Heck, I hated Eat, Pray, Love and most of the world loved it. So while critiques can be immensely helpful, and you (I) should think about what each one is saying, that doesn't mean you (I) have to listen to every single one.
Check out more insecure writers here.
Oh, and ps. Of the sixteen kids I took to sub-sections, eleven placed and seven are going on to Sections on the 14th!