Authors are thin-skinned. It takes a very sensitive personality to write a novel, because we have to become the characters we create. We have to empathize with people in different situation, figure out why they do what they do, why they feel what they feel. And once we’ve figured that out, we need to put it all down onto paper for our readers.
We require a thin skin order to do the job we do. But once that job is done and our book it out, we have to suddenly have a thick skin, because the internet is a cruel and heartless place. I’ve mentioned before that I won’t read reviews because my skin is just not thick enough. Writing takes sensitivity, a delicate touch, and the trouble with a sensitive nature is that it’s easily tossed off balance.
We sensitive people are the ones who feel a change in the room’s tension levels before we see it. We notice the little things: a glance, an expression, a change in tone, and if we’re personally invested we care a great about these things. If we aren’t personally invested, we get a sore stomach and retreat. Sensitivity is our strength, because we notice things that nobody else does. That’s part of writing a good novel.
So while readers tear books apart, share opinions, rant because they love a book, rant because they hate a book, I have to step away. They are doing their job as readers, and I appreciate that, because books are written to be devoured. And devouring can be a messy business. It isn’t my job to hand out napkins and insist upon table manners. My job is on the other side of the curtain, and being the sensitive person I am, I like to stay on my side.
Otherwise, I just get a stomach ache.