I try to keep whining about it to a minimum, but don't think that for a minute that I don't
I still don't really know. I don't know if I can do this. I don't know if I was meant to do this, although admittedly I'm not sure if anyone was really meant for anything.
Here's what I do know, though: I have more notebooks full of writing than I can carry in both hands, than I can fit in multiple boxes, spanning ALMOST my entire life. Whether the result is worthy or worthless, I'm never happier or more comfortable than when I'm writing, just writing, and not thinking about how the words will be received.
But of course the words must be received, judged, and summarily welcomed or dismissed. Surviving these judgments is the difference between people who engage in writing as a hobby and people who engage in writing as a means to existence & sustenance. If you are to be one of the latter people, you must continue to draw from that inner well which sustains your desire and ability to put a story on the page, in spite of whatever forces are attempting to seal that well. I can tell you that it is difficult and I wonder frequently whether I'm really up to this task, or whether I shouldn't just give up on graduate work and go get a job.
But every time I consider that, and every time I come out of a harsh critique (and believe me, all of my critiques are harsh), I think to myself, "Well, what are you going to do about it? Are you going to give up, or are you going to fight?"
And, at least so far, the answer has always been, "Fight."