Would you stand up and walk out on me?

I have begun to hear back from my beta-readers with feedback for the revision of Linger. I have a love-hate relationship with getting feedback on my writing. (Not with my beta-readers. For them, all I have is love. Seriously. Anyone who takes time out of their life to give me critical feedback on a novel-in-draft rocks. Hard. Let me know which kidney you want, guys.) But for actually getting the feedback.

I mean, look. I know the novel isn't perfect. I know this because no one has yet shown up to deliver unto me by fiat the Nobel, a Pulitzer, and a Hugo, wrapped in a shiny film option. But the thing about critical feedback, is it's critical. I didn't ask these people to give me warm fuzzy pats on the back and praise my elegant turn of phrase and piquant deployment of metaphor. I asked them to read my manuscript and be ruthless, because I want it to be better. To be as great as I can make it.

That doesn't mean there isn't a part of me that secretly wishes that someone would love the novel, just as it is. Or that I don't get a little discouraged when my literary inadequacies are illuminated. Because I tried, as hard as I could, to get it right the first time, you know? But there's that gap, between the shape of the story in my head, and the words that are on the page. And I'm too close to the story in my head to see when the words on the page don't tell it. Sometimes when I thought I was leaning into the blade, I was just giving myself a papercut, and I need someone to stand behind me and push.