Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Time to Fess Up

A recap:  On Friday I launched a book giveaway.  Check it out here and make sure you leave a comment and follow my blog to enter.  I will be announcing the winner this Friday.  So check it out.

It has recently come to my attention that even though I think I am brave, I am actually a big chickenshit!.  How is that for a way to start off the blog for today?

I am a writer.  No, really I am.  I think up wonderful stories and I can spend hours with the music going, hanging out with these really awesome characters that matriculated inside my somewhat twisted, very fertile imagination.

But when it comes time to showing my peers or even my friends these amazing works of art (hey it is my story after all) I can't seem to go through with it.

I am not sure what it is that keeps me from passing on my written word for feedback.  I can take constructive criticism in every other area of my life.  But when it comes to this, I am just not comfortable letting someone else pass judgment on the stories I have created and nurtured.

Today I am thinking I can live with the cowardice.  Maybe even embrace it.  I look good with a red ribbon in my hair, although I may be too old for that.  I know this, if I was stuck on a deserted island I would never be bored because I could entertain myself for hours with the stories I have in my head just waiting to be released.

So tell me dear friends, how did you get up the courage, or gumption, or grow a pair in order to open yourself up and let others read what you had written?  Yeah, I really want to know.


Linda G. said...

I think you have to be mentally ready to see your work as separate from yourself before you can trust someone else's opinion of it.

Once I got past the first stage of putting something out there--and it's a real leap of faith, I know--it was easier to continue. Eventually, I teamed up with some critique partners I have until this day. Don't know what I'd do with out them. :)

Laura Pauling said...

I think it was the drive to get better and I knew I couldn't get any better on my own. I needed perspective. And it doesn't always get easier but in the long run it helps. Maybe find a crit partner who will take it easy the first time. Not all critters are as encouraging as they should be.

abby mumford said...

it is tough. very tough. fortunately, i had grad school to teach me how to be okay with submitting my stuff for review. and now i'm defunct without a critique group.

i don't think submitting your work gets any easier (because it's such a personal thing) but you do come to realize that the benefits of a critique outweigh the keeping it close...

you can do it!

Karla Nellenbach said...

It took me a long time before I was ready to shed my scaredy-cat skin and let other people read my stuff...I didn't even tell people I was writing until I'd finished three manuscripts and had finally decided that the third one was decent enough to query. Once the rejections started pouring in, I opened up about my secret double life and now, I've got some great betas/crit partners and (I think) my writing is the better for their input :)

PS...when you finally take the leap, I better be on the list of peeps you send your shit to...im just saying ;)

Candyland said...

HA! Love your honesty today!!! Hmm. I don't think I've ever "grown a pair," I just do it without overthinking.

Patty Blount said...

Gah! I understand completely. The first time someone asked to read my work, I blushed like they'd asked for the key to my diary.

But as I started my first technical writing job, where reviews and feedback are compulsory, I realized how much I was learning from the people reviewing my work.

It got easier to let go of my fiction work after that. In fact, it became essential to my mental well-being to get that feedback.

Jeannie Moon said...

When you're ready, you'll find people you trust to give you honest, constructive feedback.

But like anything, acknowledging your "fear" is the first step to getting past it. You're thinking about it and eventually you'll make the leap.

Good luck, when you're ready, the people you need will be there.

Michele Shaw said...

Kelly, I just did it and braced for impact. It wasn't nearly as bad as I imagined, yet I still buckle up every stinkin time I let someone new read my stuff. For me, it's just part of the deal. I need to do it. It makes me better. Someday you might feel ready, but it's your choice! Thanks for a great post!

Alyson Peterson said...

The first time letting go is the most difficult, but it gets easier the more you do it. However (even though I am constantly bugging to be a beta for you) I recommend not doing it until you are ready.

My first read out was hard, but it made me a better writer.

Kelly Breakey said...

Again, you guys all come through for me.

Linda: I am mental most days...ah you didn't mean it that way right?

Laura: Good point of view. I always want to get better and I guess the only way that is going to happen is if I can handle some constructive critiquing.

Abby: I didn't have problems with school either b/c I was not as personally invested. I have to figure out a way to divest myself of that.

Karla: You are so number one on my list...just don't tell Patty okay?

Candy: Yeah, I have never grown a pair either but on a jobsite once the guys gave me a pair of steel balls to prove I had them.

Patty: I guess I just have to jump. BTW don't pay any attention to Karla being number one, you know its really you right? I mean it.

Jeannie: I believe.

Michele: I know you are right. Hey we can't all be good, I think I just have to find a way to brace myself.

Alyson: I am trying to get myself to the point of being ready. I promise to let you know when I am.

Thanks for all of the words of wisdom. I really appreciate it and you guys for stopping by.