When something is as personal to you as your writing, it is difficult to share with others. Especially when you know they will offer their advice. We writers walk a thin line between wanting to share our work with an audience and being willing to accept their thoughts and feelings about it.
It is with this trepidation that I decided to attend a writers’ workshop. In retrospect, it was very difficult to take this crucial step. After all, you are bringing in your work and sharing it with strangers, something you weren’t sure you ever wanted to do, really. I mean, sure, publication is always the hope, but often it is just that, a hope. And we all say that is the goal. To actually go through with submitting your manuscript to publishers, however, is a formidable task. You have to be willing to suffer rejection. If your work is accepted, you have to learn to work with an editor and heaven knows what else! It’s all very tiring to think about.
I have been very fortunate in finding the workshop I am attending. I am receiving some wonderful insights and recommendations. It is interesting to find out how others interpret what you have written. I have re-learned that I cannot possibly know what others see in my work, I have to share it. I have also realized that sharing invites validation. You are a writer and you are talented. Let those mental demons that say you have no business writing fall to the wayside and accept yourself as a writer!
Yes, attending a writers’ workshop means you have to be willing to accept guidance. However, the bottom line is that sharing with fellow writers can be a very rewarding experience and well worth the effort it takes to step into that first session.