This came up yesterday morning over at Every Day Fiction in the comments section of a particular story. Now I assume that the comment section is there not just so readers have a place to spill their enthusiasm, but that it's also a place to leave critiques. And don't start with the: "Oh, but it's already published, there's no point in critiquing it!" Have you ever seen a bad movie or read a bad book? Did you feel a need to criticize it even though it's a finished product? Of course you did! The amazing thing about human beings is that we can form opinions and express them. This is the nature of communication. And even if it's a finished product, that doesn't mean it's immune to scrutiny. The point of criticism is for you [the creator of X] to learn and improve on your craft. Yes, it's going to sting, but you take it and roll with it.
Now, there a few ways you can react to criticism: A) You can ignore it. B) You can acknowledge it and thank the critter for their time. Or C) You can become defensive of your work.
Guess which one is the immature reaction?
(If you said C, you are correct!)
I understand everyone has an ego and some egos are bigger than others, while some are very fragile. If you've got ego issues, then don't - I repeat - DON'T bother putting your work out there, because chances are, you've got a bit of growing up to do. And frankly, I'm quite tired of these children posing as adults, and then crying when they don't receive the praise they think they deserve. Sorry, but you're not entitled to anything, but whatever you do receive, be damn grateful, even if it's criticism. They read your story! Isn't that enough?
Oh, and don't forget, if you act all defensive on the internet, it's there for the whole world to see. So just think about that next time you feel the need to chew out a reader's critique.
But yeah, I've had enough of these childish egos. Keep your stories underneath your pillow, maybe the writing-fairy will leave you a quarter.