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Shy about sharing work?


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#1 Emily804

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Posted 25 February 2018 - 03:13 PM

After I share my work with people, I find it difficult to read the work that I have shared. If I try to read it, I get embarrassed thinking about how they must have reacted to the work. This only happens when I know the person who I have shared it with.

 

I'm fine sharing my work anonymously and getting feedback, but when the person is a friend or family member I feel embarrassed, and it makes it hard for me to edit my writing after I have already shared it. For this reason, I try not to share my work until I am done editing. The problem is, fresh eyes will always be able to catch a ton of mistakes that I've missed. 

 

Does anyone else experience this? 


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#2 NCruz

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Posted 25 February 2018 - 03:32 PM

I used to feel super embarrassed when I shared work with anybody. Now I'm only mildly embarrassed. Repeated exposure helped me deal with the overthinking.
 
Fresh eyes are good, but they have to be experienced eyes. Family and friends don't make good CPs if they're not fellow writers and readers--and if they're not the type to give honest feedback.


#3 DisgruntledWriter

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Posted 25 February 2018 - 03:47 PM

Ooohhh yes.  All the time, except I get it if I share it with family, or strangers.  I look back at short stories I've sent off to magazines and die inside.  When I think back to my mother reading my first few, god-awful novels, I cringe internally and wonder how she has not disowned me.

 

I do find when I share, though, I will automatically start thinking of the parts of the story I feel are the weakest, and try to figure out ways to fix them.  Regardless if I get feedback whether or not that part seems okay, it shows me that I still think it needs work, so I usually end up rewriting or editing it. 



#4 BadgerFox

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Posted 26 February 2018 - 04:27 AM

Sure, sharing work with other people makes most of us nervous, and some of us VERY nervous. And just like you say, it can be easier to share with a critique partner who doesn't know you very well than with someone who's close to you. Especially if you're writing something very personal or a bit graphic/sexual/embarassing. I think it's normal to cringe at how your mates must've percieved the emotions in your writing!

 

Like Nessa says, repeated exposure can lessen your anxiety.

 

Regarding asking friends and family to look over work, I have to say I haven't always got good feedback from nonwriter friends/family. They've said nice things and been encouraging (which was great!) but, especially in some of my earliest stuff, there were glaring errors that they should have pointed out, but because we're mates and they didn't want to hurt my feelings, they didn't. So major technical problems went unaddressed for ages.

If your friends and family have a lot of experience with editing and creative writing, of course, this might not be a problem for you, but in general, if you're already finding it emotionally difficult to share with the people close to you, it might be an argument for your trying to focus more on feedback from writing groups, critique partners, tutors, writing competitions etc. They can be more honest. And you don't worry about how a work colleague is going to think of you afterwards, when you show them that difficult-but-steamy scene 3/4 of a way through your romance novel during which you used an extended metaphor to liken the awakening of the hero's inner sensuality to a nest of dried thai noodles slowly softening in hot water, gluteny fronds slowly unfurling in all directions... (or whatever ill-advised similie :P)


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#5 galian84

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Posted 26 February 2018 - 09:55 AM

Oh, yes! I refused to share my work for YEARS before I finally just did it. And yeah I completely relate, being embarrassed to read your own words and people's critiques to them. But it helps to realize that all of this makes you a better writer. I've heard you have to have thick skin in this industry (or any arts & entertainment-related industry, in general)!



#6 JRUET

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Posted 06 March 2018 - 04:53 PM

Sweet Jesus- any time I write anything remotely resembling a sex scene I image my mother's book club reading it aloud and die a little inside! Haha! This is why my family and friends have no idea I've written a novel while I'm also blasting the internet with query letter critique requests! You are so not alone ;)



#7 AndrewF

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Posted 22 March 2018 - 03:34 PM

I'm mixed with sharing my work. On the one hand, I love it as my grammar is a weak point of mine and I'm only going to improve by getting constructive feed back. 

 

On the other hand, I only ever give out 1 or 2 chapters as I am afraid someone will take my idea, polish the work, and publish it before I can!






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