To Show or Not to Show….

I’ve noticed that there are writers who are ready to show their work to others, and writers who aren’t.

It has nothing to do with skill level and everything to do with maturity.

It’s sort of a time game. When I first started, anything anyone said about my stories that didn’t match my expectations hurt like hell. More likely than not, I’d stop writing completely.

Of course, the solution seems to be to stop showing your work. Some say to wait until you’ve edited and are okay with it, but I suggest wait further.

It’s not so much to make sure the work is as good as possible that you won’t get bad reviews or are happy with it enough that you won’t care what others say, but it’s more about being detached with the work.

After doing this for a very long time, I can more or less say I’m FINALLY detached from my writing enough that I probably won’t stop writing regardless of the comments I get. I usually get positive comments anyways and can differentiate between a constructive comment and a useless one (and completely ignore the useless ones).

Or maybe I’m just tired. Either way, I think it’s a level up from where I was.

But there are writers out there that are still far from ready to show their work for heavy critique…but are doing so anyways.

I am always hesitant to say anything or even read their work. Because I feel, in this stage, most comments would be useless. The  writer won’t hear them. It’s not until the writer reaches I suppose you can call it a maturity or maybe just an “I don’t care, just help me get better damn it!” attitude where the writer can actually use the comment.

Where you can see the comment and think about it without emotion.  The comments that spark creativity and problem solving brain activity are probably the best comments, regardless if they’re praising the work or criticizing it.

I love getting comments like that. But it usually comes from someone who knows at least a little about what makes a story good and what makes one bad.

The only exception, I think, is sharing your work straight to readers for fun, especially when you’re really new.

I’m a big supporter of fanfics and sites like fanfiction.net and fictionpress.net. A lot of times, I miss just having someone rave and love my work, even when its crap. I mean, it doesn’t do much in helping me become a better writer, but it does give me the motivation that at least I’m doing SOMETHING right.

But of course, if the writer isn’t careful, they can get an overinflated, unrealistic ego regarding their writing and create problems for everyone (especially for themselves).

It all comes down to awareness, which I think comes with maturity, which comes with time and experience.

Be aware of what you want and what you will most likely get and act accordingly. Do you want comments to improve your writing? Or do you just want someone to love the work you love?

Know the difference and act accordingly.

Wait till you’re ready.

That’s my motto anyways.

When do you know you’re ready to show your work?

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4 thoughts on “To Show or Not to Show….

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  1. I want to say it’s best to share you’re work when you’re happy with it, but then you get to the point of some people are unwilling to let go and accept criticism if they’re so confident. So…. to each his/her own there. But I think it’s more important to have a small group of readers/writers that you trust to share to during the process than some big writing/reading community, because everyone has a damn opinion on where they want something to go and that can hinder more than help.

    1. I agree. Who you share it to is just as important. I especially find those who think they know exactly how to fix your story to be the least helpful.

  2. Depends who the audience is. For my beta readers, I’ll show it when I think it’s reasonably polished, and I need a second opinion on what could be fixed. For a general audience, I don’t let it out unless I’m convinced it’s really top-notch.

    1. Yes, this is pretty much what I do.

      Though I’m such a perfectionist, I never get it to “reasonably polished” and thus never get around to showing it to anyone except for the pieces I’m not looking for critique for, but just for fun like the flash pieces I’ve done.

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