November 16, 2018
How to share your writing with others
by Stephanie Valente
Writing is wonderful, sharing it with other folks is the hard part. If you’re chugging along through NaNoWriMo this month or just working on a novel draft, getting some insights and key tips from your writing group, peers, friends, or colleague is essential. But, that means you actually have to share your oh-so-precious writings with another human being. And if it’s your first time (or third) at the novel rodeo, it can be tough.
So, in order to ease your pain, anxiety, or fear, here are four tips for sharing your writing with others.
1. Start small. A little shy about putting all of your work out there? Send a few pages to a couple of friends or acquaintances. There’s no need to blast your entire social network – whether in person or online – when you’re just getting your feet wet. Plus, let’s be real: everyone has day jobs, personal obligations, and a semblance of a social life and they might not have time to churn through a 200 page draft. Instead send out five pages or less, await some constructive feedback, and don’t forget to return the favor.
2. Ask for what you want. What does this mean? It means that you should clearly state your intentions – do you want feedback, writing help, or something else? If you don’t ask for what you want, then you certainly won’t get it.
3. Don’t be close minded. When getting feedback on a creative piece, it’s natural to feel defensive over your art. But, don’t let it come out. Every reader and editor has a unique perspective… just like you. Try to be open and focused and listen to the key takeaways you’re receiving. You never know how it’ll impact that particular piece of writing or future work. Be open minded, it’ll serve you better.
4. Don’t over talk or over share. This isn’t the time to make excuses for your work – It’s new!; I didn’t edit it yet…; I wrote it in 15 minutes! Just let your ideas, plots, characters, or dialogue speak for itself. If something in your manuscript isn’t working or gelling, then it’s just not working. And, it’s important that you recognize that (or someone else does), but you don’t have to let nervousness or anxiety explain away your writing before someone even reads it.
Stephanie Valente is the Digital Marketing Manager at Melville House.