Sending a manuscript, submission packet, or query letter has always been easier for me than letting someone I know read my work.
When sending to a publishing professional, it is a *professional* correspondence. While rejections stings and there is certainly some aspect of taste that goes into any editor or agent’s decision, these aren’t people I know. They certainly don’t know me. The measure of personal judgement is small.
In my writing collaboration with Eric, he reads my work on a near-daily basis. This is slightly more nerve-wracking. The majority of the time, he keeps his criticisms in the land of critique. "This doesn’t work. This needs to change." Even still, I’d prefer to be absent or asleep while he does the actually reading.
One of the hardest thing I’ve dealt with, neuroses-wise, is the judgements that people I know will make and have made. Because in those cases, I wonder where, for them, Katherine ends and Katherine-the-writer begins. I know I should give my friends and acquaintances some credit. They probably don’t think I’m a bigger idiot than usual when I post a story that might make them say, "WTF? She calls herself a writer?" But it is their judgement that makes me nervous.