1. AxleMAshcraft
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    AxleMAshcraft Member

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    No! My Imaginary World! Get out!

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by AxleMAshcraft, Jan 28, 2011.

    Does anyone else have the issue that they don't like other people reading their writing?
    Either tell me I'm crazy or I'm completely normal...
    But I really don't like it when other people read my writing. I don't know why, I know that I hate being judged and I also hate when people tell me that what I just wrote sucks, but that's not reason for me to feel completely uncomfortable with some of my closest friends reading my writing. They have already said that they won't judge me or my writing skills and that they just want to read it without any comment. But still, I feel like handing over my newest novel to them is like carving out a piece of...well of ME and giving it to them for scrutiny...

    Does anyone else have this problem?
    Is there some Einstein out there who can possibly explain to me WHY I feel like this?

    (and yes, this was a rather pointless thread, and if I just suckered you into reading it, I'm sorry. Just curious...)
     
  2. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    For me, it depends on who's reading it. If it's someone on here or one of my real-life friends who's a writer, I'm okay with it, but I don't typically share unfinished stuff with non-writer friends and family. I'm not sure why, it just feels awkward. But it also depends on who the person reading it is (specifically) and on the subject matter.
     
  3. FrankABlissett
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    FrankABlissett Active Member

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    I have a problem with people reading a work-in-progress. I only recently figured out that it is due to a fear of failure. If they don't see it and I don't finish it, then no honor is lost, but if they DO see it and it remains unfinished, then I have failed.

    I have absolutely no trouble with people reading my rough drafts though, and love reading at open-mics.

    -Frank
     
  4. Jonias
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    Jonias Member

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    Oooooh yes, I can relate. And I have this funny feeling I won't be the only one.;)
     
  5. Forkfoot
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    Forkfoot Contributing Member Contributor

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    Never. It's the only way I get to enjoy the thrill of completely exposing myself to strangers without getting arrested.
     
  6. R-e-n-n-a-t
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    R-e-n-n-a-t Contributing Member

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    I hate when people read my writing before it's finished, and I hate when family members read my things after it's finished. I put a lot of emotional conflict in my writing when I take it seriously, and I feel like I'm baring my soul when they read certain parts of it.
     
  7. Slammoth
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    Slammoth Member

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    Pointless thread? More like interesting. Then again, I AM a Psychology student. ;)

    So uh... WHY? Okay, here goes. I'm not exactly Einstein, but then again, he was more into physics anyway!

    Feel free to ignore everything I say by the way! I am an idiot, and I know nothing about you - So if I say something and it feels like bollocks, it most likely is. :D

    To start off with, I think you're completely normal. It's perfectly reasonable to be sensitive to criticism, especially when I get the vibe that you take your writing very seriously. If you pour your soul on to the page, it is sure to sting if someone says it's pap.

    But, the why. I'll try to get you started. The good thing is that you already know why, you just need to make it explicit. People can help you with that process.

    Let's start with you. Do you think you're sensitive to criticism in general, or is it just about your writing? Or does it apply to something else potentially important to you as well (Other hobbies? School/work?)?

    Does it matter what piece of writing people read - Are rough drafts just as bad as finished work? Do some of your works contain material that is of personal importance in some form - For example, have you used some deeply meaningful events/dilemmas/beliefs/dreams/etc. from your own life in the text?

    Maybe its the people doing the review. Does it make a difference who does the reading? Maybe you don't like being judged by those close to you (because you'll fear you'll resent them for negative feedback, or that you'll have to be near them and they'll remind you of 'failure', or that you fear that you'll feel a need to please them and change your story accordingly - numerous reasons, I could go on!). Try to pinpoint whether it's everyone, or just some specific people.

    Regarding what you said, and how you said it, some observations...

    What's interesting is whether 'shouldn't be' here is a supicion: Knowing yourself, you don't think your sensitivity to criticism is the (whole) reason and that there's something 'more' behind this thing, OR whether you think 'shouldn't be' means you know that it is just your sensitivity and it 'shouldn't be' getting in the way like it does.

    That was confusing. In summa, is it "There's something I can't quite get at making me feel this way - Sure I hate being judged, but that's not it", or "I feel I'm too sensitive to criticism, and should be different"? Or some other definition that fits better?

    More rambly points, uhh... You know, even if people tell you they won't judge or comment, I find that the author still wonders whether they liked it, and more importantly, it still matters. Sure, they won't voice their opinions as harshly, maybe, but what they think is still important to the writer. At least that rings true for me.

    The title "No! My Imaginary World! Get out!", to me, conveys a message of a perfect world/creation that you're proud of - Other people giving criticism tarnish that view. Maybe this is what you're uncomfortable with? Or maybe you fear that they won't understand your fiction the way you'd like them to.

    It could be all of these reasons! And probably more we don't know under the surface. Which more than others?

    You know, if you can give me your views, I could probably throw together a questionnaire, analyze and tell you from the results. Just kidding. ;)

    I hope that helped. You don't even have to think about all these questions - Just think about it in general, and the answers tend to come.
     
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  8. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I used to feel a bit like this when I was in my 20s. I'm 49 now, and I long ago stopped caring what anybody thinks of my stuff. I feel like I'm not competing with anybody anymore - I dropped out of the race. I'm no longer the teenager trying to get the prettiest girl in school to dance with me. I'm not trying to impress her anymore. I don't feel small when the bigger, better-looking guy drives up in his Corvette and takes her away. I'm not competing with him. I've established my life, my little piece of the universe. My writing comes from that and you can like it or not.

    It's a wonderfully freeing feeling, actually, to not be young anymore ...
     
  9. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    I guess why you write is also an influencing factor on it.

    Personally there is no greater motivator than someone loving a character, laughing, crying etc at something I write. However I am not aiming for great writer, just to tell a great story the best way I can.
     
  10. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    i feel the same way and always have. when i had finished my first draft i let my mom read it and man, that was something i thought i'd never do, but it was fun, she liked it and said good things about it, (if she hadnt i dont think i would have had the courage to send it to the publishers after that, so it was crucial). i know she maybe isnt objective but i got some nice feedback which was just what i needed then, so...
     
  11. Tesgah
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    Tesgah Member

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    I know how you feel. I even have problems telling my sister any ideas or plots I have, not just my writing. I don't know why, really:rolleyes:
     
  12. spklvr
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    spklvr Contributing Member Contributor

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    You know, I joined this site so that someone could really critique my writing, but I have yet to put anything up here... I think I know why I don't want to post anything. It's not that I'm afraid of people being harsh or that they'll rip my precious story apart, but I never feel that my story is good enough to be read by anyone... which is even sillier, because people here could really help me make it good enough...

    In my entire life, only one person has ever read a story I've written, and that's my BFF who also writes a lot. She has really helped me get on with my stories, because she nags at me until I finish the next chapter of the stories she likes.
     
  13. JTheGreat
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    JTheGreat Contributing Member

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    Like others, it depends. I have plenty of writer friends that I'd show my writing to in a heartbeat. My family isn't really involved in my multiple hobbies, and non-writer friends usually don' get what I'm talking about. But, one of my close male friends (who's doesn't write recreationally, has a great imagination nonetheless, and always has something to contribute. But, he has a tendency to name my characters names he plans on giving his future children :p, so I don't go to him for everything.
     

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