1. Arya Stark
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    Arya Stark Member

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    How do you guys find the confidence to show others your work?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Arya Stark, Oct 2, 2015.

    Hi again! I joined this forum earlier in the year, when I started writing. Well, school and other boring IRL stuff came in the way, and I'm only now nearly finished on 1500 words (not much, but I've never got much more than a thousand so I'm going a day at a time)

    the thing is, all my 4 or so friends who actually care about me want to see my work, along with my parents, but I'm far too scared to show them my work. My friends are all huge fantasy nerds like me, but it's like this invisible barrier stopping me from showing others :/
     
  2. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    In the end, my desire to improve my work overcame my fear of people thinking it was rubbish. The only way I was going to improve it was to get feedback from readers, so I had no choice.

    Friends aren't the best people to show, though. It's very hard not to take it personally if they have negative feedback, however nicely they phrase it. I would recommend starting with the anonymity of a forum like this.

    It gets much easier after the first time. :)
     
  3. Eliza Rain
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    Eliza Rain Member

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    I started writing because I remember back in jr. high I wrote a song and shared it with my class and they all loved it. I got inspired and I've been creating ever since. When you first start out it's mortifying to share your stories because they're a window into your mind. I have characters I've known longer then some of my closest friends, and I feel very defensive of them even now as a sophomore in college.

    So trust me when I say it's tough for everyone... But!

    Essentially, you need to take baby steps. I've never once let my parents read what I've written. But my friends are writers and avid readers. I trust them to be honest with me. I also started writing online which sincerely boosted my confidence with all the support and positivity. I joined a Rites of Passage club as a freshmen in high school, and by my senior year I was a vice president of my school's poetry club and enjoyed preforming. I took creative writing classes my first semester of college and shared my stories with a true audience for the first time. At this point in my life I can't even imagine where I would be without telling my best friend my latest ideas.

    However, all of that was just saying if you're ready to share, then do! If you are not, don't. Your friends and family I'm sure want to be supportive, but if you are not comfortable with putting yourself out there, they should not pressure you. Just tell them kindly that you're not ready, and when you are, they'll be the first to see your genius :)
     
  4. Aidan Stern
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    Aidan Stern Active Member

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    It's nerve-wracking to present your works to others, I know. The writing becomes a part of you as you continue with it. It's personal, even if it's just a short blurb considered silly and fluff. For me, it helps to think about the encouragement and advice you will get from reviews.
     
  5. Imaginarily
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    Imaginarily Disparu en Mer Contributor

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    What she said.

    Also, if your friends aren't writey like you, they'll probably just tell you "It's great! I love it!" and while it is always nice to have your ego stroked, it won't give you any insight on where your strengths and weaknesses are.

    Source: my friends are not writey like me.

    When I posted my scene for critique, I nearly had to close my eyes and hold my breath when I hit the button to start the thread. Waiting for the replies was nerve-wracking. Just proofread, bite the bullet, and post that shit. We're here to support each other, after all.
     
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  6. Arya Stark
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    Arya Stark Member

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    I will post my work as soon as I can post it :p


    I need to learn to review properly first xD
     
  7. Arya Stark
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    Arya Stark Member

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    I posted it! It probably sucks but you guys are the first to read it!
     
  8. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    You just need the right expectations. I knew my writing was bad when I started and told the critique group so. I had lofty goals and no expectations for how far off those goals were.

    You need to show your work to the right people, the ones who are going to help you improve. Until it's a finished product, it's fine no matter how good or bad it is.
     
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  9. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    It's not bad. :) I don't have time to critique it right now but I read the first half and it was clearly competent writing.
     
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  10. Arya Stark
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    Arya Stark Member

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    Thank you!!!! :)
     
  11. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I took a writing course. We had to show our work to the instructor and to our classmates. If we didn't, we were just wasting our money. You also realize that all the other students are in the same boat you are, and there's no reason to believe they're any better than you are - if they were, why are they taking a beginner's writing course?
     
  12. Arya Stark
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    Arya Stark Member

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    Just an update, I don't think this is considered as spam, sorry if it is!

    You guys made me feel good enough about my work to post it online! Along wight he 2 guys/gals who were awesome enough o help me on here, I got responses from people both on Twitter and Reddit!

    The internet's much nicer than I anticipated, and people clearly spent a large amount of time on my work which was really awesome to see, I'm about to carry on work on this story and hopefully improve my skills a day at a time.

    Thanks, in a nutshell for helping me in getting confidence!
     
  13. Chinspinner
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    Chinspinner Contributing Member Contributor

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    I get it out all the time.
     
  14. ManOrAstroMan
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    ManOrAstroMan Magical Space Detective Contributor

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    Yes, and the police have been notified.
     
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  15. Imaginarily
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    Imaginarily Disparu en Mer Contributor

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    I would be careful about posting on social media. I see yes-men and bullies all the time, but if you were lucky enough to find honest critics, then by all means continue there.

    Super glad you're confident sharing, though!
     
  16. Arya Stark
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    Arya Stark Member

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    It was all through DM's and sharing them on a personal and private account. So really only the people I want to see it can see it!
     
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  17. Hubardo
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    Hubardo Contributing Member Contributor

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    A gal I dated for a few months this year has been working on a novel for a long time and won't show anybody. We had a bunch of sex, all naked and stuff, and she wouldn't show me. For her, and for lots of others, I think creative writing is one of the most vulnerable things you can share. If you don't feel comfortable sharing something with somebody (writing, your body, your opinion, your time, etc), don't. That's just having basic self respect. Nobody is entitled to anything of yours. If they pressure you, even if they have good intentions, be firm. Say that your writing is very private for you and someday you may share it with them, but at this time you'd prefer to keep it to yourself. If people don't respect that, that's their problem not yours.
     
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  18. aguywhotypes
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    aguywhotypes Active Member

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    It's easy. Get rid of pride and move yourself out of your way.
     
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  19. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Depends on your reason for writing and your reason for not sharing. If you're writing a personal journal, something for introspection, or the like, then sharing it may not be part of the plan. But if you are writing a novel, or stories, or the like and you are afraid to share it because you fear people will judge you, then that's a problem because without feedback you will never know if it's good and you won't grow as a writer.

    You do need to be selective who to show your work to. I worked on my writing with the critique group for more than a year before I wrote a chapter I was willing to share with my son.
     
  20. Hubardo
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    Hubardo Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yeah, gal I'm referring does a weekly critique group and reads but doesn't really share outside of that circle. I totally respect that. Me on the other hand, I'm open to criticism of all kinds (my writing, my breath, my demeanor, my personality) so I'm bombarding people with my creativity, thoughts, opinions all the time. SUCKS FOR EVERYONE BUT ME PROBABLY.
     
  21. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Writing is (ultimately) not a solo activity. I look at the sharing process as consisting of three distinct parties- there is the writer, the critic, and the work that is being critiqued. Both the critic and the writer want the same thing- they want the work to be good. It's not personal. It's just writing.

    One of the most pleasant critiquing experiences I've had here involves a member participating in this very thread. I made specific complaints about a work of his, and he actively pursued me in private to address those criticisms.
     
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  22. Hubardo
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    Hubardo Contributing Member Contributor

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    To take the benefits of criticism further, and way out of writing, I'll mention something else. I'm currently a therapist in training and chose to do so at an agency that has trainees film themselves with clients so the films can be observed by trainee and supervisor. If you think this is horrifying, I'm sure it is. (I haven't done it yet.) But I want my work as a therapist to be the highest quality possible. In general, I wish more people had this standard for themselves. If you're going to do something, why not make sure it's top shelf quality? You have to admit at first that your work is poor quality. Every beginner sucks at a craft. If we could all just admit this to ourselves it wouldn't be so embarrassing. Once you get over the horror of seeing what other people think of you, you can start making improvements. You can't really make improvements otherwise.
     
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  23. Blue Archon
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    Blue Archon New Member

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    I was listening to a comedian on NPR (I think it was Fresh Air, and I'm sorry I cannot remember the comedian, but it was someone very recognizable). He made a very insightful comment and it basically went like this (I'm paraphrasing):

    Being a good comedian isn't being funny - it's a skill. You develop it just like any other skill. You have to start somewhere and you have to practice. It's not about being funny or knowing funny jokes - it's about telling those jokes in the right way, and building something in front of your audience out of nothing. No one is good at it when they start. The basis of the joke (analogous to plot or characters) isn't what's important - it's how you build up to it and how you tell it.

    I've always been a big stand-up comedian fan, and sometimes I find very old stand-ups of people that are now famously funny stand-up comedians. All of them were terrible when they started. And, most will say the same when they're interviewed, and that is: After you bomb the hardest, it's fine after that, it calms you down and you have nothing to lose.

    What I took from all that was: When you get feedback, and it's bad, just know that it's not a reflection on your ideas or you at all, but how you wrote them - and that's something you have to practice to get better at. To get better, it's a step you have to take.

    Edit: The comedy example is just an analogy. With writing, as others have said though - be selective and try to make sure it's a person you'll value the feedback from.
     
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  24. No-Name Slob
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    There isn't actually a huge difference there, since stand-up comedians are also writing their jokes. They just need even more feedback, really. Not only does their writing have to not suck, but their delivery as well. One without the other just can't work.

    Anyway, OP -- writing is very vulnerable for me, like @Hubardo mentioned. It's very hard for me to share my work, and when I do share it, it's super frustrating to not receive any kind of feedback other than, "it's good!" or "I like it." Make sure you're showing it to other writers, first. That's where the value comes in. I have very few people I'm willing to show my unfinished work to, one of them is my husband, and I honestly get annoyed with his lack of feedback. Lol. So find a couple of people whose work you admire or whose opinion you respect, and ask them for critique. I found a few people that I really trust on here like @BrianIff and @Aaron DC had them critique a lot of my work, before I even posted in the workshop, and I've only posted there once, even still. Lol.
     
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  25. Iain Wood
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    Iain Wood Member

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    We’re walking down the same road here !
    It may be easier for you when you realize you are not alone !

    ..., Iain.
     

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