A few days ago I received what was probably the best critique I could hope to get on my novel.
No it wasn't overflowing with gushy phrases like. "Its wonderful, the best story I have ever read."
It was filled with suggested corrections. It pointed out all the faults I needed to see but couldn't. The critiquer basically told me to go back and rewrite the whole thing.
My first reaction was one of horror. I had just spent the last few months finishing my draft, all 70,000 words of it. I didn't want to listen to someone who I obviously thought just "didn't get it." Everyone else liked my story, why didn't she?
After a day or so, I calmed down and re read the critique. Once calm, I could see where the suggestions would actually help improve the flow and readability of the story. The critiquer wasn't attacking me or my work, she was trying to help me make it better.
I saw a quote not too long ago that said something to the effect of, "the best critiques are the ones that hurt." It's true. While it is great to hear how wonderful your story is, it doesn't so anything to help improve it, and while it remains unpublished, it probably needs the improvements rather than the gushy compliments.
Time to grow some thick skin and go back to the drawing board. Time to take my story and go through it with a fine tooth comb and make the recommended corrections I have received thus far.