I've written on the topic of feedback before, but the point I wish to make here is that, for a writer, it becomes important to determine the perimeters, to find the far wall, which can help one to know when one has gone too far, or perhaps not far enough.
Image yourself standing all alone in a flat, open field. You have a ball in your hand. You throw that ball as far as you can manage. And then ...........?
As tempting as it might be to shy away from criticism, a poem or a novel can suffer when there is no far wall, no other person to toss the ball back. Some of my early poems met with scant reaction. It was very much like working in a vacuum.
Continually comparing my poems and my skill level with greatest published poets I could find proved a huge help in developing my work; but they were all long deceased; beyond approach. In effect, I spent years playing bounce ball against the mortuary walls.
It has taken me a great long time to find a group of well practiced, living, poets and authors with whom to commune. My first steps toward commenting on their work, and of sharing mine, were scary at first; "they might detest my remarks and recoil at my verse."
Fortunately, they did not live up to my worst imaginings, but even if they had, I could still have benefited in hitting that far wall. As with any aim work striving for, better some criticism than none at all.
Rethinking, regrouping, and rewriting are essential to this writer's enterprise, and I am grateful for those who are now here in this flat, open field, playing catch with me.