We've all done that, making print after print, trying to get it just right. We have all made clunkers. Back when I had a lot more patience, it was not unusual to spend an entire day to make just one print. It was educational, and some nice prints came out of it. Maybe not perfect, but they were pretty darn good for a beginner. Since this was a darkroom in the hobby shop on an Army base, it was easy to get advice from other people, to see examples of what they were telling me, and to actually see how they did it. The whole situation was very casual and laid back, with none of that "do it my way" attitude. None of it even felt like a critique. It was just like going to school, but without paying tuition. Compare that to some of the "critics" who just want to take potshots, and never show their own work. It's a bit different. You have to wonder too, if many criticisms are just based on whtever is "in fashion at the moment". Right now it is fashionable to slam any and all "rocks and trees" photos as being trite or "it's been done already". At one time it was fashionable to slam the F64 type photos for being too sharp. Before that, the pictorialists got slammed. Right now, the fashion seems to be deliberately "edgy" (whatever that means) or grossly oversharpened photos. Personally, I have better things to worry about than unsolicited "attacks", like keeping the bills paid and food on my table.