Feedback is a good thing.
If it wasn't for feedback, I would have never even thought about getting my writing published. As I have often mentioned, writing was an outlet for me--a chance to create the stories (particularly historical ones) that I wasn't seeing on the shelves at the library or local book store. I sometimes wish that I hadn't been so narrowminded as I would have had the chance to study with a published author when I was in college. But I digress.
I first started exploring the notion of getting published about two years ago when I published some of The Enemy Within on a review website--you know the ones, you critique people's work and they'll critique yours. It was when I found that readers were developing strong, but good reactions about my characters that I thought that I might have a chance at this.
With my usual singlemindedness, I delved into honing my writing and learning everything I could about finding an agent, getting published, etc. And finally here I am. I'd say that I am fairly confident about finding an agent. I hope it's for The Enemy Within, in fact, I'd probably be somewhat disappointed if it doesn't make it anywhere, but I know I have many more stories in my head that might make it to a bookshelf one of these days.
It's so hard to separate out those bad apples sometimes. Add that one critique to the fourteen rejections I've gotten in the past few weeks and it's been a tough twenty-four hours. It's one of those times where I wish I had never ventured out of writing stories for myself. And it's even lead me to consider removing myself from the forum world for a while. I want to be involved (because I like interacting with other writers) and I know it gets my name out there, but sometimes I wonder if it's all worth it. I know that I have my involvement in the forum/blogging world to thank for supplying me with all of you wonderful readers. I certainly don't want to miss out on that.
So what about you all? Do you find that forums and feedback are more harmful than helpful? What do you do to filter out those comments when they seemingly have no merit?