No, today I want to talk about the feeling of being exposed. Whether you're sending your first draft to beta readers or you're a published author putting a finished product into the world, you're still offering up a piece of work for judgement. And you can't help feeling that, by default, people are judging you.
It's hard to keep your distance when you've poured yourself into a novel. But I think it's important to remember that readers aren't commenting on you. You might be a great writer -- the next Dickens, even -- and still have readers who don't warm to your creations. Not everything you write will appeal to everyone. And it probably shouldn't!
So wrap yourself up in a hard, deflective metal (um... is there a name for that?), or gird your loins with Teflon, and remember: it's not all about you. It's about your novel. It still might not be fun to take, but I promise you: it will be easier!
How good are you at dealing with less than complimentary feedback?