I don't think you are overcritical. I can recommend you a book "On Writing Well" by William Zinsser, it is short and it is a good investment.
The author says that "rewriting" is an essence of writing. You write the first draft and then you edit and you may shorten your article quite substantially.
I tend to write too much and I should apply those principles as well. Since I started writing on hubpages and gained some experience, I find Zinssman's advice quite sound.
It is up to you, of course, to read or not to read. But a writer can never read too much, because reading is part of the job. You cannot become a good writer without reading.
In any case, I wish you luck with your writing.