I thought I had a fairly thick skin before I even started querying my first manuscript.
*insert cackle laughter here*
Now, I know I don’t have nearly as thick of skin as I should, but I definitely have grown a few dragon scales to protect my vulnerable side over the last two years.
I think joining a kick-as* critique group has definitely helped. Also following editors and agents blogs/twitter/facebook and reading their responses to people’s queries also has helped.
I received my first round of major revision suggestions from my critique partners this past weekend and have let their thoughts percolate in my brain. I’m so glad I’ve grown thicker skin. Because now, I actually want that kind of advice. I need to know where they got lost in the story, what didn’t work for them, and realize its not that I suck and should give up writing. They are not flaws in my personality and I’ve dared exposed the weak points in my inner psyche. It’s areas of the story and characters in which I need to fix.
Or perhaps we’re thinking of it backwards. It’s not that people need to grow thicker skin, or regenerate thicker bone. It’s that we need to shed the vulnerable self-conscious layer of invisible shields we humans use as a self-defense mechanisms.
Get rid of your insecurities. Get rid of ridiculous thoughts that whatever suggestions others say is a ding in your personality, or interpretation of ‘they don’t like me.’
Shed everything down the most base level, where we can actually improve on the inconsistencies in our writing. That’s when we’ll notice the biggest difference on our writing style/skills.
So throw your skin out the window and let the air rejuvenate your writing. Completely open yourself up to improvement.
All right, manuscript. Get ready for rejuvenation. Dive in!
- Can a hypersensitive person grow a thick skin? (ask.metafilter.com)
- The Real Definition of “Thick Skin” is Having the Courage to Write Your Book Your Way (selfpubauthors.wordpress.com)
- Blogging, writing and growing a thick skin (therhythmmethod.wordpress.com)