What I Think About When I Think About Writing: Sharing

“So you’ve written some stuff, right? You should show me!”

“Um…”

I’m always hesitant in showing my works to people.  At first it was because I was afraid of what people would think of my writing.  Also, I was worried about not being taken seriously when I wrote about romance.  However, thanks to the creative writing workshop classes I took in college, I am more open to showing my stuff to people.  At least, I used to be.

The reason I hesitate now is because I’m just worried that I will never get any feedback from the person who intends to read it.  Instead of reading it, the person will just dump it somewhere and never bring it up again.

This might sound sensitive, but it hurts when that happens.  I guess what I said a bit earlier was a bit of a lie; I am always going to be a little worried about what someone thinks about what I write.  Will they consider it mediocre?  Stupid? Or just badly written?  I guess those worries haven’t escaped my mind.  But they aren’t as present as they used to be in the past, they’re just in the back of my mind rather than drowning in them.  I’m trusting the person to give me some sort of feedback when I give them a copy of something.

Another thing that comes into play is the privilege I am giving you by allowing you to read my story.  I’m not saying I’m high and mighty, far from it!  As I mentioned last time, my stories are pretty personal and relate to me, one way or another. If you read any of my works, you’ll probably catch a glimpse of something that many don’t know about me.  Writing is how I express myself the best, I don’t hide anything; it’s an amazing feeling but it can feel a bit vulnerable too when you share the results with someone.  It might not feel special to the reader, but that’s how it feels for me when I allow someone to read my stories.

What I’m trying to get at is that there is a level a trust between me and the person who will read my stories. I don’t just let anyone read the things I have recently written; a certain level of trust or friendship must be established (usually) first.  I probably regard you highly if I give you something to read.  Also, if you’re a close friend of mine, I’m probably more than eager to hear what you think of my writing.

Sadly, I would say half the time I give someone a story of mine to read, they’ll never get back to me.  At first I’d remind them or bring it up, which would result in an awkward “Oh yeah, haven’t got around to it…” or just a “It was good!”.  I’d be disappointed but nowadays, I’m actually rather used to it.  I guess that’s why I’m always pretty skeptical if someone asks me if they want to read my stuff.  Are you actually going to read it? Will you tell actually spend some time with it?

I wonder if I sound selfish when I think about things like that.  It’s okay to be selfish sometimes though, right?

Why do I bother to continue to try to share my stuff with people?  Because it’s worth it.  When someone reads it and lets you know their feelings, opinions and critiques about what I wrote, it makes me immensely happy.  Especially when they mention specific details in the story like how they loved how a certain scene was described or how they could relate to a character’s thoughts and worries…that’s when I know someone has taken the time to sit down to read it.  It has to be one of the best feelings in the world for me.  So even if my stuff gets ignored half the time, I still keep trying.  I may be more hesitant than in my college days, but if I don’t bother trying to share my works with those who might be interested, then there really is not point for me to continue writing.  I want everyone to see what I write eventually.  This is just the first step.

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