Sharing Your Writing is Scary!
So, you want to be a writer. How healthy is your ego? How about your self-confidence? Can you handle criticism?
You've joined an on-line writing group and posted your first write to be critiqued. Was it as hard as you thought it would be? Yes?
Sharing writing with other writers is scary. Self-esteem and self-confidence issues are the major causes of putting off submitting our work, either within an online writing group or major - minor publishing houses. Wondering if anyone will like it, or if it is good enough, is stressful. Stress will knot up your stomach and cause real physical pain. I know from my own experiences. Even newsletter editor's feel it.
Writing is easy, writing well is not. It takes encouragement, practice and lots of reading to learn how. You will never get better if your self-confidence is allowed to wither away and die.
Building, boosting and reinforcing our self-confidence is something most of us need to constantly work on. If someone gives you a review and comments on technical issues/errors, don't go running to the delete button in tears. Hold on a minute and think about it. Think about why you became a member of a writing group. It was to learn to write better, wasn't it? Can you do that by yourself? I can't. We need the feedback from other writers.
A review should also praise what you did right. First, you should focus on the positives. Take a moment to feel proud of that descriptive scene, or that great character only you could have created. Take pride in your achievements. You'll need this commitment, especially when you're feeling discouraged or frustrated by the errors the reviewer pointed out. Take time to consider the comments. If you don't agree with all of them, that's okay. The important thing is, you're learning.
You may begin to doubt your writing abilities. We all require constant assurance our work has potential. Praise keeps us from giving up when our confidence takes a hit, and it will take some hits if work is posted for reviews. A good reviewer will liberally pass out praise along with the suggestions, and they will be honest with you. If you believe them when they say the piece needs work in one or two areas; you should also believe them when they say you're doing a good job in another area. Just as you study the areas that need work, diligently study the areas that are good. Figure out why it's good so you can do it again and again.
Publishers can't take the time to praise or tell you what's right about the submission. They don't tell you what's wrong either. They either accept it or they don't. They give no feedback, no editing help and they leave you wondering what was wrong when it's rejected. Yeah, rejection hurts, no doubt about it.
Is your skin thick enough to take rejection? Self-confidence is another word for thick skin. Your reviewers can help with the shining and polishing, and you'll gain the confidence you lacked when you posted your first item.
Write for the joy of writing. Your writing will reflect your pleasure. The more you learn from receiving and giving good feedback - the more confidence you'll gain. It is that confidence that'll soon become evident in the quality of work you turn out. The most reliable, constant source of confidence building is yourself. You're good, Write on!
About the author:
esprit is a reviewer at Writing.Com ( http://www.Writing.Com/)
and has written many newsletters and articles on the subject of novice writing and reviewing with common sense and encouragement. Her portfolio can be found at http://www.Writing.Com/authors/storytime