I allowed someone to read SERA. And I respect that person's opinion a tremendous amount. And it's not finished.
I was going to give up on it, on my characters, on Coy. I was going to shelve yet another mostly finished book and walk away because I didn't feel like I'm good enough to write their story.
I can't believe how differently I feel now... I am reinvigorated, and back in love with everything about my book. Last night I even worked out the resolution in such a way that it leads into the coolest sequel EVER. No, seriously, you don't understand: angels, demons, true love, so much pain...and now possibly my version of Armageddon.
I also set up a writing schedule again. I used to be so disciplined with my writing time, and that's how I got 75% of a book written in 3 months, and why I've had the other 25% left hanging for over a year. I am going to get serious about this writing thing.
For those of you who have crit partners and who go through this experience all the time, YOU ARE ALL SO SMART AND BRAVE. For those who never have, oh my gosh, try it. Having just one person fall as deeply in love with your story as you are and want to know how it all turns out is the best high I can imagine. It makes me feel like maybe, someday, it will be more than one. Maybe, someday, I'll have readers.
It also makes that not matter nearly as much, since I really don't need anymore outside approval than I've already received.