Going Public and Reading For the Authors

Readers, today I entered a writing contest.  I wrote a short story, printed it out, and mailed it to people I have never met in the hopes that they might read it and enjoy it.  Needless to say, this wasn’t easy for me to do, given that I don’t normally like it when people read my stories.  I’ve never been comfortable with this.  Everything I put down on paper just seems too personal to give out to the world.  My friends and family will certainly attest that I’m reluctant to share my writing.

Why is this?  Is it because I fear they will tell me I’m a horrible writer?  Or some other reason?  I don’t know, but I need to get over this sort of literary shyness if I’m going to ever make it as an author without having nervous breakdowns every time something’s published.  Other people reading your work is inherent in being a writer, which is why I’m so puzzled by my inability to not get all nervous about it.

I think this was one of the reasons I started blogging: to get over this dread of people reading what I write.  After all, you’re all reading this now, and I’m perfectly okay with that.  I think this blog helped me a lot in getting to the point where I can do things like this contest.

My worries about this subject inevitably lead to the simple fact that writing is a very personal process.  Every time I write something, at least a fictional something, I leave a little bit of me in the pages, in the plot and the characters.  And that’s a scary thing, to put something like that, something I’ve worked on for a while, something I feel close to and am proud of, into the world.  To let everyone, from good friends to people I don’t even know, read it and comment on it and tell me what they think of this thing I’ve created.

Anyway, there you have it.  I’m planning to post that short story on Novel Journeys starting in a couple of weeks.  So I guess you have that to look forward to, if you like reading that sort of thing here.

ON TO ANOTHER TOPIC!

So, ever since reading The Fault in Our Stars, I’ve been basically on a literary rampage, trying to get my hands on every John Green book I could (admittedly, he’s only written three others, but still).  My school library has both An Abundance of Katherines and Paper Towns, the former of which I have finished and the latter of which I will finish in the next day or so.  I’m really enjoying both of these books, which is remarkable in that I don’t usually read books because of the author.  I read books for their story or their title, but here I made an exception.  I’m reading these because John Green wrote them, and I’m having a remarkably pleasant time doing so.

This has taught me that reading for the author can sometimes be quite rewarding.  I had known this before, and with some authors I’ll read anything they write, but this is different.  I was first introduced to John through his Vlogbrothers channel on YouTube, so I suppose you could say that I even read The Fault in Our Stars just because he wrote it.

It’s a different approach to a new book, but it’s been fun.  And that’s about all I have to say on the subject.  Tomorrow I’ll be posting for this month’s TCWT blog chain, so, at the risk of sounding clichéd, stay tuned!

Happy reading.

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4 thoughts on “Going Public and Reading For the Authors

  1. i understand your fear for lack of a better word of people reading items that you wrote. I share that “fear’. For me it’s a fear that it may not be good enough or people won’t enjoy it like I do. But in all honesty, I let all of that go. I decided to go with what makes me happy. If I feel like I pinned my best words on the paper then I’m fine with it. If it makes you happy just write and see where it goes. Good Luck!

    • That’s great advice. I try to just let it go, as you say, and not care, but that’s harder than it seems. There’s always something in the back of my mind telling me that it may not be a good idea to share whatever I’ve written. I’m working on it, though!

  2. I think everyone has a fear of people reading their honest thoughts and stories, at least in some capacity, I know I do. Even when I do blog posts, I’ll re-read them later and think, I could of/should of done that better, I overanalyse every word, I think of how people will view me as a person by what I’ve written. I’m hoping like you, it’s something I’ll get better at with time. Good luck with the story! I’m looking forward to reading it, and don’t let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game 😉

    • Becky, that’s so encouraging. Thank you. We share the over-analysis, though. If not with blog posts so much, I definitely do that with other things I write, for school and such.

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