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The Fear of Sharing

Writing is a very personal experience. As an author I have “given birth” to characters. I’ve named them, given them quirks, personalities, and appearances. I have grown with them and come to love them. They play in my head, telling me where their stories should go, often times arguing with me over creative differences. Their story is my creation, brought to life over blood, sweat and tears. It’s only logical that sharing is often times scarier then putting pen to paper (or finger to keyboard).

Yet we often write for an audience. We write in hopes that someone will love our characters as much as we do. Now that I am a mother of a living breathing human being I can see the similarities. I want my son to be liked. And should he ever choose a mate I would want that mate to love him as I do, in her own special way, of course.

Those first few steps in sharing a beloved novel are nerve wracking. Finger nail biting. Cold sweat inducing. Those precious few who are the first to peek at the novel, the first to offer criticism, are often met with resistance. We know our work needs improvement. Doesn’t make it any easier to swallow.

Even after years and years of edits it’s still scary. Starting this blog was one step out of my comfort zone. I remind myself that as the author of a finished piece of work I AM a WRITER. However just a little bit of criticism leads me to wonder: Am I a BAD writer, or a GOOD writer?

In all truth there will be good and bad in every novel. It’s aesthetics, personal taste. What one person likes another can’t get into. Sometimes bad writing can have an excellent story line. Sometimes good writing can have a lacking storyline. Sometimes all come together in a masterpiece.

Currently I am hoping there is more good then bad in my first novel. I am proud of it. As a storyteller I feel I have a lot to say. Perhaps as a writer mom I am not ready to fully let go. For that means having a thick skin. Being open to criticism. Drowning it out in a box of chocolates. And searching for the few or many that have positive things to say.

For someone, somewhere, will like your work. Will like my work. It’s all about finding the right audience at the right time.

More importantly: never give up. My characters deserve the chance to live in someone else’s head for a little while. They’ve grown much to comfortable in mine.

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3 thoughts on “The Fear of Sharing

  1. Chocolate certainly helps! 🙂 I agree the whole thing can be pretty scary, but probably the best writing advice I ever received was “never give up.”

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