The Importance of Sharing
When I began my ‘Start Writing Fiction‘ course and noticed that it was encouraging people to share and give feedback my stomach lurched a little. I hadn’t written anything in a long time and I really wasn’t keen on the idea of showing my attempts to anybody else. In the end I bit the bullet and went for it anyway; I figured that the worst thing that would happen is that people simply don’t like what I’ve written. While it may seem like a big deal to each of us personally to put ourselves out there, to everybody else you’re just one of the many numerous people they come across on the internet (chances are you’ll be forgotten about soon afterwards.)
I’ve realised that learning to share (even with the potential to receive criticism) is a good thing. It’s very rare for people to create perfect things on their first try and getting other people to provide feedback can really help you to know where to improve – It helps that they are distanced from your work. For example, I have a few finished games sat on my computer that I never released because I decided that they weren’t fun enough, but I got bored after testing them over and over again; I could be surprised if I gave them a chance. When I’m reading my own stories it’s with a firm idea of the characters already in my head along with knowledge of the plot’s direction, but someone offering feedback doesn’t have this. I actually found it really interesting to see how different people interpreted my writing.
It’s a shame to put so much time and effort into something just to close it away unseen and move onto the next thing. We really have to ask, why are we creating things in the first place? Is it to contribute to the world or to help us to communicate with others? One of the reasons I decided to start a blog was to have an outlet for some of my ideas. Up until this point I was a little cut off from the world due to some anxiety issues, but shutting yourself away isn’t really the answer. It’s important to feel like you’re having some impact on the world, no matter how small. I also find it motivating to see what other people are working on. We all have different cultures and backgrounds that inspire our opinions and creativity and it can really widen your horizons to see this.
I’m now on the final week of my writing course and I’m glad I decided to share my stories. It’s normal for many of us to feel anxiety about showing people what we have been working on for the first time (especially when we’ve put so much of ourselves into it,) but to overcome this can be beneficial to us. Showing off our work and receiving feedback should be treated as a fun experience.
- Be Honest: Are You Rejecting Yourself? (Why You Should Make Things)
- What are you afraid of, dear writer?