Yes, I'm on a roll, writing my little brains out. I'm on a self-imposed deadling to get 15 decent pages of my latest project in a good enough state to mail out for a critique session I'm paying for in August. I'm attending a major writers conference here in LA, and one thing they offer is a professional in the field giving you a critique. I've been told it's a great experience. So here I go!
Thing is - critiques help. You've got to be open minded. You've got take it with a grain of salt. You've got to still the fast-beating of your heart, breathe, and let go of your baby so that someone else can criticize it.
I know this from previous experience and because I've joined a critique group (just this week!) of writers with similar ambitions. I was a tad nervous. Fortunately, everyone said something complimentary as well as something, er, constructive. The critique group at least is free. Well, except that we meet at a Border's bookstore that requires a $5 purchase to validate parking if you stay more than an hour. But $5 is more than worth it to get five pairs of eyes assessing your work and give you a reality check. Sometimes people give contradictory advice. Sometimes it clashes with your own instincts. But sometimes they give a note that makes your baby even better than it was before.