Mental Wellness

Can a HSP Get a Thick Skin?

I love to write. I have a complete memoir and a novel, plus a draft of a second novel under my belt. Once my work is complete, the process of looking for an agent is crushing. Ten or twelve no’s and I’m done. Then I start on the next project, because writing and researching are the fun parts for me. Is this a character flaw? Shouldn’t I be able to withstand rejection?

In the last five years I came upon the term HSP, meaning highly sensitive person. When I read the traits that characterized HSPs, my eyes went wide. Click here for a good article in Psychology Today on the subject. Fifteen to twenty percent of the US population has this processing sensitivity to light, sound, pain, and emotions. These heightened perceptions are also marks of a highly creative mind and someone who is very empathetic.

Those sound like positives to me. However, it can make the editorial process painful. Last month I sent my memoir about studying abroad in Spain to a professional copy editor. I sent it to someone I know and trust. They were even-handed, tactful, and they even like the funny bits. But when I read the proposed edits, I dissolve into tears. I’ve made very little headway in processing the manuscript feedback. The changes are good suggestions, but I can’t seem to move forward. Any ideas for baby steps?

Fellow HSPs, what self care and structure helps you get through challenges?

Happy Manic Monday! –Rebecca

7 thoughts on “Can a HSP Get a Thick Skin?”

  1. to put things in perspective 10 or 12 no’s is likely a very low number compared to the number of potential agents. How many potential agents are there? 100? 10% said “no”. 1000? 1% said “no”. Besides you want to find the right agent to promote your work – not just anyone. Keep trying and remember a “no” means you just haven’t found the right one.
    And remember what I’ve taught my daughters “If it doesn’t kill you it will make you stronger.”

    Liked by 1 person

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