Does a part of you yearn to share your writing? When you hear someone else share their writing by reading aloud, or a writer shares by posting an excerpt, does it both inspire you and make you break out in hives? Do you wonder what you’re missing by not sharing your writing?
The Power of Sharing Your Writing
We had our first “Get Your Writing Done” Program workshop today. When one participant shared some of what he wrote from one of the writing prompts, it moved me deeply, and I could see how it moved the other participants as well.
I got some writing done, as well. I loved the distinction between teaching for an hour and a half and, in this case, creating a space where people would be inspired and committed and get some writing done.
At the end of class, I decided to practice what I preach. I read a one paragraph excerpt from the book I’m writing:
“When we write entirely from what we know and planned, our writing can fall flat. The best writing allows for spontaneity. When you’re at your most inspired, you learn something as you write. You expand beyond who you were twenty minutes ago when you began writing. You write on the frontiers of your own consciousness. Be open to the possibility that you will grow with your writing. It’s not something to force; you need to get out of your own way for that to happen.”
We can write in a vacuum for so long. It feels freeing to share your work with others and get the sense that your writing makes an impact.
And, hearing it aloud, whether you read it or someone reads to you, you get to tweak and polish, as well.
How to Share Your Writing
- Join a critique group or writing workshop with a facilitator you trust (who treats everyone with dignity, inspires and sets a positive tone).
- Be clear on your goal – why do you want to share your writing? Do you need a cheerleader to shift self-doubt? Or do you feel lonely in the writing and need to get some response to move on? Or do you want feedback or critique? If critique, trust your intuition about when to share your writing.
- Share a snippet of a book in a blog post, as you see me do here. You may not want to give your whole premise away–be mindful about what you want to share early and what you want to save for when the book is published.
How to Get Over Shyness
- Tell yourself that sharing will help you make improvements.
- Tell your readers or listeners that it’s a rough draft. That way no one will expect perfection.
- Remind yourself that others want to be supportive; they’re probably looking for what they like about it, not what they don’t like.
- Ask yourself, “What am I afraid of?” Imagine sharing your writing and having that thing you’re afraid of actually happening. Your fantasy may give you the freedom to then share!
- Only share with people you trust. If you’re afraid of criticism, let them know more specifically what you want from them. Maybe you don’t want any critique but just to be able to get over the fear of sharing.
Feel free to share a paragraph you’ve written below! Or share your experiences about sharing your writing.