The next time you finish a draft of a novel and you give it to your critique group, please remember:
1. They are not going to tell you it's perfect. They are smarter and more helpful than that.
2. You are going to need some time to digest what they've said. Give yourself that time.
3. It's okay to cry.
4. It's okay to quit.
5. It's okay to bake a lot, or clean your closets, or do other things that have simple beginnings, middles, and ends.
6. It's okay to consider getting a regular job with a regular paycheck and regular hours. Seriously, if you can find a job that fulfills you half as much as writing, go for it.
7. After you're finished with your initial response of, "I suck and I'll never be published again," you should probably re-read Truby or Klein or one of the other fabulous books on writing and revising that are sitting on your bookshelf.
8. You should take notes and open your mind as you read.
9. You should go on a lot of walks and take long showers because that's when your best ideas arrive.
10. You should open a new file on your computer and jot down all the crazy and fresh ideas that are zipping around your brain.
11. You should formulate those ideas into a plan.
12. You should write another draft of your novel.
13. You should give it to your critique group or your agent or your editor, and you should be ready to start all over again, getting closer and closer to the truth of the story.
That's all there is to it.