When I first starting writing, I would never show my work to anyone. I was too nervous that people would think my writing sucked, and for the most part, it was personal to me, so I wasn't sure I even wanted to hear what people thought about it. However, when I started college, I realized that this was sort of unavoidable. I'm a creative writing major and one of my long-term goals is to publish a novel, so this fear of opinions and feedback was sort of inevitable and something I had to get over.

In a writer's workshop session, the writer will read a portion of or their whole piece to the class. Then, the writer is expected to sit absolutely silently while the class goes over the aspects of their piece that they liked and the parts that need improvement. I'll admit, I can get pretty defensive, so just having to sit there and take in every bit of criticism, whether it be regarding a major plot point or the most minute grammatical error, was kind of hard. Even now at times, I find it difficult to hold back my own defensiveness during a workshopping session. That being said, I am incredibly grateful for this process, because, without it, I would never improve as a writer.

Learning to sit and really take in comments and criticism on your piece can give you a thick skin. You learn not to take things personally or sensitively and rather see them more objectively as a way to improve your own work. This lesson has not only applied to writing though, I have found it helpful throughout everything I do.

Being a writer and constantly being edited helped me to appreciate advice and comments given to me from my friends. I learned to see this less as a direct jab at who I am, but as an opportunity to improve myself. Sure, criticism isn't always what we want to hear, but when we do open our ears to it, sometimes we may find helpful truths as opposed to personal comments.

Being a writer thickened my skin and taught me that there are opinions that matter other than my own, and that it what other people have to say is always worth considering.