I entered a short story contest recently and reviews were really mixed. As the votes came in (LitReactor has a cool voting system btw, I recommend trying their contests), it turned out 77% of readers liked it (BUT A WHOPPING 23 DIDN'T!) I nearly obsessed over the negative critiques because, I guess, I want to chisel what I write into something perfect, or near perfect as possible. And that's probably healthy right? Rather than dismissing critiques and getting all defensive? Now I've submitted something here for critique and I'm zooming in pretty obsessively over the comments I'm getting and pushing myself to work out the kinks others are finding. Then today pretty randomly I came across this Wikipedia article on Murakami's 1Q84 and when I looked at the juxtaposition of positive and negative reviews I sorta scratched my head: -The Guardian's Douglas Haddow has called it "a global event in itself, [which] passionately defends the power of the novel" -A negative review from The A.V. Club had Christian Williams calling the book "stylistically clumsy" with "layers of tone-deaf dialogue, turgid description, and unyielding plot"; he awarded a D rating. I wondered: If every great writer were to obsess over every critical thing people found wrong with the work they'd never finish it. They'd never be published writers. You can't make everyone happy. Obviously there needs to be a balance somewhere between openness and closedness to criticism, but I'm not sure what the optimal balance is for everyone. I suppose it's different for each writer, especially depending on the stage we're at. I know I'm very undeveloped still so I'm leaning more toward the openness. I'd love to hear others' thoughts on this.