Before I’d even considered trying my hand at writing, I had already heard of two fundamental precepts of the writing process:
- Read as much as you can. Savor each thought-provoking turn of phrase, look up new words you’ve never heard before, delight in exquisite dialogue and descriptions. The more you read, the more confident you’ll be as a writer.
- Share your work. Whether it’s with a trusted family member (although don’t expect unbiased feedback), a writers’ workshop, your online blogging community, or beta readers, be sure to share your work, consider the responses you receive, and make adjustments accordingly. You may not always agree with the data you get back from your readers, but at the very least you’ll have some new perspectives on your work.
Now, the first one? I’ve got that nailed. I’m an avid reader (Falling in (and out of) Love with Reading) and always enjoy seeing the world through another author’s eyes. But it’s that second one that I struggle with. I cannot stand sharing my work. I’m notoriously secretive. I don’t participate in workshops. I won’t even write on airplanes for fear that the nosy passenger in 12D might look over and take a gander at my prose. The only person with whom I’ve ever shared my work-in-progress is my husband, and even then, he only gets the occasional glimpse at a chapter.
I’m not sure whether or not this has to do with the subject matter I tackle – erotica of various flavors – or if it’s that I’m an inherently private person, not willing to share my writing until I’ve deemed it fit for popular consumption. Perhaps, as I grow as a writer, I’ll soften my views on sharing my work. But until that point, it’s mum’s the word.