I’ve recently realized that many things have changed since I began writing as a little girl, including my eagerness to share my work with others. When I was younger, I always shared my ideas and my stories with my parents. As I grew older, I began to share my writing with my friends.
My parents were always very supportive, and because they understood my passion for writing they never tired of hearing me talk about it.
In middle school, swapping stories with friends was what ultimately led to my books. My friends motivated me to finish my story because they asked to read more, whereas before I met these girls I rarely finished anything. (Side note: I realize now that “finishing” should not be my main goal when I am writing. At least when I was younger I wrote consistently and frequently, and with great joy, which allowed me to improve.)
Anyway, nearly everything I’ve written in the past year or so I have kept to myself. I’m extremely secretive about my writing. I think maybe I’m afraid of criticism.
Something I read recently on Veronica Roth’s blog, (an old post of hers), caught my attention. I love reading about my favorite authors, and I often check their websites for writing advice. Roth’s first piece of advice to young writers is this: “Learn to love criticism.”
I see Roth’s point. If a writer cannot embrace criticism, they should probably look for another career. However, if you are writing for the right reasons, and “being published” isn’t your sole motivation, it’s important to stick with it and seek out constructive criticism. After all, embracing criticism and taking it to heart is the only way to improve.
I think it is going to be a struggle to share my writing again. The self-doubt that breaks through whenever I sit down to write has me convinced that nobody else is going to like what I’ve written, because it’s most likely terrible.
But maybe it’s not…there’s only one way to find out.
*Do you share your writing?*
– Brooke 🙂