To Share Is To Grow
One of the critical steps you can take as a writer is to find ways to share your work with others. Those others might be writers, they might be friends, or they might be family members. Don’t let your hard work sit in a drawer unread. Writing is meant to be read. We write down words hoping someone will find them interesting. When you first start writing, you must take the lead in asking people to read what you have written.
A Method To Learn to Share
Try this: Select a two- or three-page section of your writing. Sit in front of a mirror, and read the section aloud to yourself. Don’t stop to edit or make any other marks on the paper. Just read the section. No matter how good or bad you think it is, just read it as if you think it’s great.
Now choose someone in your life whom you trust. This might be your spouse or partner, a parent or other relative, or a friend. Ask this person to read your selection without saying a word. Inform them that you don’t want any feedback, that you just want him or her to read the selection and then say, “Nice work.” Sit or stand nearby while he or she reads (you don’t have to watch). After your reader says, “Nice work,” respond with, “Thank you.” Take the papers back and change the topic of conversation. Don’t ask what the reader liked or didn’t like. Don’t even let the reader point out typographical errors. Just say, “Thank you.”
Do this several times with different people or different pieces or writing. While feedback can be important to a writer, it is not necessary yet to you as a novice writer. More important is to develop the courage to share your work.
Once you can stand there and endure in silence while someone reads your work, you may be ready to ask yourself, “What do I need now by way of response from my readers to help me grow as a writer?”
The answer may be some questions about the characters in your story, or it may be questions about why this story is important to you. Or, it may even be time for a serious critique of the writing itself. Whatever you choose next, always let it be a choice for growth and start by daring to share.
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