A year or two ago for some reason I read Dilbert-creator Scott Adams' How To Become a Cartoonist. Recently as people have been writing in asking if it's okay to give out copies of my music (the answer is always yes), I've realized how influential one part of this article was on me. The copy test comes to mind at least a couple times a week:
3. Don't listen to your friends who tell you your comics are hilarious. They're lying. Don't listen to your friends who tell you your comics suck. They're idiots. The only reliable feedback is the copy test, i.e. does someone want to copy your comic and show it to someone else who you don't know. If someone says he likes your comic but he doesn't ask to copy it for someone else, he doesn't really like your comic.
Pretend it's talking about music. Far from being annoyed when people copy my stuff, I think it's one of the biggest complements an artist can get.