Writers are vulnerable to a variety of things, but I think, above all, our egos are the most vulnerable. We can be a vain bunch - us writers, and a bruised ego and a writer are like two peas in a pod. I don't think a writer can ever be void of vulnerability - vulnerability to a writer, is like a prosthetic limb to a war veteran - it's heavy, it's hard, it's stiff, and our movements are somewhat choppy because of it; we are vexed by it's existence, but we can't do anything about it - if we vanish it, we aren't able to function properly, we are slightly vacant, our true voice loses its value - our drive to move forward is somewhat more vague than usual. We need it to validate our purpose in this world.
Vulnerability is valuable. It makes us vigilant. Although our vanity is constantly on the verge of violently tipping our vulnerability off the edge - vulnerability always wins. Yes, sometimes its volume makes me want to vomit. Sometimes the vibes created by my vulnerability make me want to vent with a bottle of vodka to my lips. But I wouldn't be me without it. Removing it would mean vandalising my soul.
I, personally, am vulnerable to bruising my own ego, rather than someone else's vindictive comments bruising it for me. If my ego is bruised as a result of another writer's vote, I can accept it, I can take it in my stride, I can learn from it without sacrificing my vivaciousness. But if I discover something about my own writing, that makes me doubt my ability, I can't shake it. It sits on my shoulder and yap yap yaps into my ear like a venomous parrot, and I'm constantly on the verge of tears.
I haven't learned how to deal with my inner critic like I have learned how to deal with external critics. Have you? How do you bruise your ego back?