Well, I've come to the conclusion critics do not define art, artists define art. Can someone show you a shortcut (dodge here/burn their)? No. There is no short cut. Only you know where to dodge and burn. Could a critic make you wealthy, probably.
I think there are two reasons to make photographs; one is because you gotta and the other is to make money.
Any of us can work in a Mall and take baby pictures for a living but I doubt many of us would make a comparable living trying to make art. But those who do sure must be proud, and rightfully so.
It's soul searching today and looking at yesterdays efforts and realizing "I got better today because yesterday I sure sucked." No critic is going to warm your soul like looking back and realizing you've grown in your vision; perhaps the old vision was met when you weren't looking and another, more grand vision is in front of you. Just gotta keep pushing that boulder up the mountain.
Well, I'm rambling now, talk soon...
Bruce (who is not edgy enough)