Something I heard from both Joel Freeman (plenary speaker, Write!Canada 2010) and Michelle Buckman (author) at the conference:
Not your critique partners, your mother, your agent, your publisher, your publicist, store owners, blog writers, book reviewers, or fellow writers.
In fact, few people will actually sit down and read your book from cover to cover (particularly if you’re a non-fiction writer).
Why does this matter?
Because it means we have to have huge confidence to be in this industry. We need to develop that thick skin and clothe ourselves with a confidence that can convince the rest of the world why our work matters.
We may not always be successful at convincing others… but if we go into this remembering that no one else loves our work as much as we do, maybe it’ll help us keep a more realistic perspective as we face the struggles ahead.