But some of us don't. I no longer read all my reviews, but if there's one with one or two stars, I hone right in on it. Sometimes it's obvious the reviewer didn't read the book, or is commenting on another book because s/he names different protagonists. Sometimes the reader just hates it.
At a recent writers' retreat, a small group of talented indie authors who write erotic romance had a really good time making fun of the publisher and the imprint I write for.
Every single time, it hurts. I don't usually admit that it does. Usually, I shrug and say profound things like "one man's trash is another man's treasure" or "what a freaking idiot" or "holy shit, did she really say that?" If a reviewer has said something constructive, I try to keep that with me. but mostly I go on. It's just what we do.
This week at our writers' group, I suggested--maybe too strongly although I didn't think so--to a writer that he would strengthen the chapter he'd written by showing instead of telling, and now he is no longer speaking to me. He hasn't even answered my apologetic email.
My writer's brain tells me if you have a story to write, you're going to write it in spite of criticism, that you should indeed welcome criticism because sometimes it helps. My writer's heart tell me I'm a cruel witch who has needlessly hurt two people. I never want to judge or take part in a discussion among writers again.
So, back to the beginning. In answer to the question Does anyone here have a thin skin? I guess I do. At this stage of the writing game, I don't know how to thicken it up. I'm not even sure I want to. But I hope I didn't discourage the contest entrant, and I'm so sorry someone I considered a friend stopped speaking to me.