Sometimes, though, you find yourself under attack when you least expect it. In social company, I never volunteer any information about my writing progress, latest projects or book sales. I always wait until I'm asked. If no one asks, that's fine by me.
This morning I was out for coffee with a three friends. One, whom I know least well, didn't know I'd been actively writing (or publishing) at all and asked about it.
I think I managed about a dozen words when one of the others – who usually supports my functions – butted in to say to the polite and interested-sounding questioner, "That's enough, you can put the cotton wool back in your ears again." OK, it was meant to be funny, but combined with later statement that he couldn't understand many of the 100-word stories in the COMPLETELY FREE e-volume 100 Not Out, I began to wonder. (Tip for writers' friends: if you don't have anything positive to say, don't say anything at all.)
But the truth is that, for a writer, and probably for all who aspire to trade in the arts, the next kicking is just around the corner. You put yourself out there, and you just take whatever comes.