Sting took an eight-year break from music after he was worn down by endless criticism of his work.
The former Police frontman has been working on his musical The Last Ship for three years, with a tie-in album due for release later this month (Oct13) followed by the opening of the stage production in Chicago next summer (14).
It will be the first original material from Sumner since his 2003 album Sacred Love, and now he has revealed he hid away for years to avoid reading negative comments about himself.
The Roxanne hitmaker tells Seven magazine, "There's a lot of inward naval-gazing as a singer-songwriter. It's part of the gig. But at some point you get sick of it. And then expecting other people to scrutinise it and observe it and comment on it. I wasn't sure if I wanted to do that...
"Of course it can get to you! But I don't complain. It's part of the job... But at some point you say, well, enough! I've been in stocks this week, I don't want to be in them next week."