Originally posted February 5, 2012 (before the disaster)
This week I did something terrifying…
Photo from Dreamtime
… no, not that. Although that would be terrifying too.
No, this week, I released some of my babies into the world.
Not real babies. My stories. I can’t believe you’d think like that!
Now, I don’t share my writing easily. I guess I’m afraid of rejection, of being told that my writing is terrible and that I should give up on it. Especially when it comes to my novels; I put a lot of time and energy into them, and to be told that they are absolute rubbish would really hurt.
But this week, I sucked it up, and sent a short story and chapter one of “Fighter One” out to my critiquers. They are all nice people who wouldn’t deliberately try to make me feel bad, but I still worry that they will tell me that my novel’s broken. The novel that I’ve had in my mind for over a decade! I keep having to remind myself that they only want to help make it better, that the concept and world of the story aren’t as bad as I think they are. It’s normal for me to lose faith in the concept at this point in the process (I’m at the 25% point of completely re-writing the thing. Completely. I think I’ve kept maybe three pages of the original document…) but that doesn’t mean I want to hear it from others.
This is a necessary evil and something that I need to get over if I’m ever going to be published, since publishing by necessity means that I’ll have to let complete strangers rip my babies to pieces.
My story babies, not my real ones.
So I read them over and made them the very best that I could, and then I held my breath and hit the “send” button. It felt very freeing, but scary at the same time. I know my babies are in good hands, and I have to trust that they’ll have the impact that I want them to have. They have to be read to have that impact, after all.
But critiquers? If you’re listening?
Please be gentle!