This post, by JA Konrath, originally appeared on his A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing blog on 9/3/11.
One of the greatest skills you can acquire as an author is a thick skin.
Once you unleash a story onto the world, it no longer belongs to you. When it was in your head, and on your computer during the writing/rewriting process, it was a personal, private thing. But the moment your words go out into the world, they are subject to the opinion of strangers. What was once personal is now public.
Do yourself a huge favor, and don’t listen to the public.
This goes for more than your literary endeavors. If you blog, or speak in public, or tweet on Twitter, you are a Public Figure.
That means some people aren’t going to like you.
And you shouldn’t care.
You shouldn’t care about people liking you, either. Praise is like candy. It tastes good, but it isn’t good for us.
The opinions of strangers, good or bad, should have no power over you.