He was right.
I'm happy to say that I have toughened up over time, and I have learned that critiques of my writing are not personal attacks - especially from him - and they are helpful for producing a better product. When I started the blog, it was nothing more than a hobby to fill my days. I didn't expect to meet people from all over the world or get a job out of it, so I didn't worry too much about how things looked or what kind of photos I posted. That has obviously changed as the traffic flow as picked up, and I don't put up a post now without getting an opinion from Peter first. He acts as my safety net.
Normally, his comments about what I should tweak in a post act as outside confirmation of what I was already thinking, so changes aren't a big deal. However, last week I had a post written and had included a photo that I was rather proud of (having taken it myself), but when I showed it to him, his reaction was far from what I was expecting. While I didn't burst into tears, we had flashbacks of those newsletter days, and dinner was a rather silent affair.
At first, I had no intention of budging - I didn't see what in the world he was talking about. However, it only took a few minutes for me to realize that whether I agreed or not, I would rather hear that feedback from the person who loves me most in all the world, than unintentionally offend someone I didn't know. Upon further observation of the photo, I could finally see what he saw, and agreed that it should be swapped out for a different picture. No, you're not going to see the photo in question!
Although the disappointment lingered for a little while, I was thankful that my "safety net" kept me from being more embarrassed in a very public setting. I am grateful for the newsletter experiences that taught me about my pride and helped me learn how to accept criticism - as well as how to filter out the good advice from the personal opinions. As it turns out, even editors need an editor at times.
Have you ever had a similar experience?
How well do you handle criticism?