3 Fears Writers Face When Sharing Their Writing With Others


Do you ever feel nervous about sharing your writing with other people? Are you ever afraid of what feedback they might give you, or that they won't like what you wrote?

Well, if your answer was YES, then this post is for you!

Today, I'm going to share why getting feedback on your writing is SUPER important and helpful and how you can overcome your fear of sharing your writing with other people (because yeah, it can be scary).

Let's go!

FEAR #1: PEOPLE AREN'T GOING TO LIKE MY WRITING

I think that one of the top fears we have when sharing our writing with people is that we’re afraid they won’t like it. We’re afraid they’ll see multiple flaws in our hard work.

Well, you’ve probably heard this before, but I’m going to say it again anyway: No writing is going to please everyone.

No, nope, nada!

Why? Every person is unique in personality and taste. Some people like pizza, some don’t. Some people like reading historical fiction, some don’t. It’s just the way life goes.

That said, if someone doesn’t like your writing, it might not their style. They might not enjoy reading those kinds of books—even if they’re published. So the problem wouldn’t be you at all.

It's a good idea to ask them WHY they don't like your writing. It might result in a simple answer, such as, “I just don’t like fantasy,” or a more in-depth critique. (Or maybe your reader just isn't being kind.)

FEAR #2: PEOPLE ARE GOING TO JUDGE ME BECAUSE OF MY WRITING

Have you ever heard the phrase “You are what you write”? Well, I’m here to tell you that it’s not true.

Some writers are afraid that people will judge them by their writing. They’re afraid that whatever they write—whether good or bad—will reflect on who they are as a person.

This isn't true at all! You are NOT your writing.

Don’t be afraid to share your writing because you think people will judge you. Start by sharing your writing with trusted family members and friends. Tell them how important writing is to you, and ask if they would be willing to give you some feedback.

If you're still nervous, ask them to give you a feedback sandwich: two good things about your story and one critique.

FEAR #3: PEOPLE ARE GOING TO GIVE ME FEEDBACK

Of course, when you ask people to edit your work, naturally, they are going to give you feedback.

This is both scary and exciting. Some of us know our writing is bad and needs help, so we beg people to edit our work. Others of us think our writing is awesome, and we want all the praise and no critique.

This is where pride comes in. I’ve struggled with this too. I thought my novelette was really good until I handed it over to alpha readers. The alphas were a few super sweet gals who told me what needed work in my story.

I’ll admit it. At first, I was really discouraged by all of the overwhelming feedback. I didn’t even want to work on my story anymore. I started developing a love-hate relationship with it.

But once I added two-and-a-half scenes to the story, the book improved dramatically. Having alphas there to show me the potholes helped guide me in filling them up so the road could be smooth again.

The lesson here? Don’t share your writing with others if you think your work is perfect. If you do, I’m afraid you in for some disappointment and discouragement. People will pick out the nitty-gritty stuff that you missed, and you’ll have to keep editing.

I ALREADY KNOW MY WRITING IS BAD—WHY SHARE IT?

Some writers have no confidence that their writing is good. They already know it beforehand—so why give it to someone else just to confirm it?

I asked for critique for an article I was working on. This article was hard for me to write. It was a tricky subject written in a different style.

I knew I needed help. I knew it was bad and needed work. So I asked for help.

The result? Lots of comments from several people. Overwhelming and discouraging? At first, yes. But afterward, it was all worth it. The resulting product was powerful and beautiful.

Even if you already know your writing is bad, don’t be afraid to ask for help. You know you need it.

If you’re still nervous, try the feedback sandwich: When you give your writing to someone to critique, ask them to point out one thing to work on, and one or two things that were good. That way, you get some encouragement and critique at the same time!

A NOTE OF ENCOURAGEMENT

So here’s my encouragement to you: Sharing our writing with others requires courage. It requires humility. It demands that we be all right with receiving critique.

But if we take one step at a time, sharing snippets of our writing with people we trust, we will soon no longer be afraid of sharing our writing with people.

Step out with courage and boldness. Do the hard thing and share your writing with others.

You will receive feedback. It may be discouraging and overwhelming feedback.

But you know what? Every successful book has gone through multiple edits. There are editors and agents who edit these books until they’re completed and ready for publishing. Every writer needs feedback on his or her writing. Trust me, it’s worth it. It’s normal! Nothing to be ashamed of.

The only shame is when you let fear be your master.

So don’t be afraid anymore. Take every bit of criticism with humility and gratitude. After all, someone went out of his or her way to help you.

Take every compliment and celebrate! Don’t let it go to your head—let’s not start the pride thing again—but be grateful that someone enjoyed your work.

And let that be your inspiration to keep writing, keep sharing, and keep glorifying God.
talk to me!
Have you ever been afraid to share your writing with others? I have! Have you received helpful critique before?


P.S. I'm taking a blogging hiatus! I don't know exactly how long it will last, but I expect to be back around September or October. If you're on my email list, you will get all the updates, so be sure to subscribe if you haven't already!


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8 comments:

  1. My fear was all of these, but also not getting feedback. I wanted to know what people thought, but I was also afraid to. Thankfully, I have gotten feedback and it has been super helpful!

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    1. I know, right? We want people to tell us what they think, but we're afraid of "bad" feedback and criticism. But that feedback will only make our story better!

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  2. Great post, Julia! I definitely think I struggle with sharing my writing. At the moment, I am writing a few short stories, but I am somewhat nervous about letting my family + close friends read them. It's like I want it to be as well perfected as I can before others see it. I am VERY much a perfectionist, so it is difficult for me to just let it be a rough draft. Like, I want it to be so good that I do not have to make too many changes in the near future. Is that likely possible? Probably not. But, getting feedback would not be a bad idea at all. :)

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    1. Oh, I totally understand that, Heaven! I don't often show people my work till it's been edited pretty well. But no matter when you ask for feedback, it's so helpful, and you learn so much! Also, editing for others is a great way to practice editing!

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  3. Whoa I didn't know I needed to read this article but when I did it was so helpful! thanks for sharing your heart, Julia!

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    1. Aww, you're so welcome, Fe! So glad you found it helpful! <3

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  4. Hi Julia! This article is so so true when it comes to me and my writing sharing. This was so, so helpful, actually, in moving my mindset a little bit. Thank you for this!

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    1. I'm so glad you found this helpful, Katelynn! Thank you for reading!

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