I have worked with authors who nearly gave up on their writing… all because of the damage done by one voice. Someone who spoke destructively about their work.
Every one of us has the voice of The Critic and The Judge already speaking inside us. These are deadly voices, really, that chip away at… or bludgeon… us from the inside over years and years. A negative word from someone outside our heads can be more destructive than the person speaking even knows.
I have found veins of pure gold in the drafted work of writers who all but gave up on their stories and memoirs, and helped them finish and deliver their gift to the reading public.
If you’re a person who has been disheartened or wrecked by the voices of critics and judges – inner and outer:
Turn down the volume. Unless they’re trained and constructive, turn those voices off. (Commenting on everything that’s in need of fixing without offering solutions is not constructive.)
Remember that few are trained in the art of constructive criticism and can comment objectively. Most will tell you more about themselves than about your work. (“I didn’t like it” is not a critique.)
Believe the impulse that drove you to write in the first place is the correct one to listen to. Keep going.
Your work does have an appreciative reading audience waiting for it, and you can find it. The very thing one person doesn’t like about your work, the next person will * love * about it.
Choose as your inner voice that of Winston Churchill, who claimed a WWII victory for England despite horrific attacks,
“NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER QUIT.”