The scariest thing about actually being a writer is letting other people read your writing. When you first start writing, you think it’s fantastic and everything you write is gold! Fast-forward five years to you rereading what you wrote and thinking it’s the worst piece of crap since the first time your puppy took one on the floor. The best part about writing is that you’re constantly growing and improving with every person who reads your work, so even if their comments don’t make you jump for joy (okay, and sometimes they make you die on the inside), it’s helping in the long-run.
Putting yourself out there is the hardest and the most important thing you have to do. Opening yourself up to critiques is scary, letting people read the things you wrote, that you slaved over for months or years, is terrifying. It’ll take you farther, though.
Today, in fact, I have an event to attend in which I’ll be talking about writing and possibly even reading aloud to people (reading your own work aloud? What is this? The Torture Chamber?). I’m generally not that great in front of groups, and you’d think I’d be better after being a teacher, but not so much. Taking this step, however, could lead to bigger and better things, or at least, a book sale.
I’ll admit I am not one to step out on a cliff very often. I haven’t sent my novels to publishers because I’m afraid they’re not good enough. Someday, I hope to write one that I deem “good enough” for the pros to read and hopefully not just toss back on the slushpile. It’ll be terrifying when I do, but I know it’ll be for the best. Most writers dream of being traditionally published, of being stamped with a “verified” writer stamp across their forehead, as though the gatekeepers in publishing have deemed them worthy. Worthiness is all in the eyes of the beholder.
So I’m still here, taking small steps, but steps nonetheless, to get somewhere in my writing career. I’m putting myself somewhere – maybe not out there yet – but somewhere.