Happy Friday, writing friends! A bit of a short post today, but there are some things on my mind this week that won’t take up as much time and space as usual.
Recently, I’ve done a lot of things in my writing life that have been putting my vulnerabilities to the test: I sent my first book baby off to a developmental editor (and got all the comments back this week), I’m publishing this book baby next year (so promoting it a lot), I am entering writing contests, I am preparing to query (again), and I opened a freelance business (more on that at the end of this post).
Needless to say, I’ve been busy, both mentally and with my time. And besides just keeping me busy, they have exposed me to not only hearing and accepting criticism but asking for it as well.
But it got me thinking about the process of writing itself. While all these activities have opened me up to a place where I have to leave my vulnerabilities out in the sun for all to see, all those things I hold dear and support my image of myself (or used to hide from others)… the truth is that we already do that whenever we write with honesty.
You see, if we write from our own lives, whether it is using experiences, emotions, or ideas with which we are familiar, we are telling truths that, more often than not, are so close to who we are as people that letting someone else see it, or even just admitting it on a piece of paper (or computer screen, whatever) is telling the world something about us. It’s a piece of us, so much so that any criticism or questioning of the things we write feel like criticisms of us both as the writer and the human.
It’s so hard to do this, even in the privacy of our own homes, but it is so important to being a writer. Lending our truths and our vulnerabilities to our stories makes them real and gives them more connection and depth. Without it, the story is shallow and meaningless. And without letting others offer criticisms, we are limiting our ability to improve ourselves and our craft.
So yes, it’s hard to let other people see these things, to open yourself up to criticism. And it’s hard to hear the critical things about our work and ourselves. But it’s vital to our growth as writers and to make our stories that much better.
So go write, go share. Don’t be afraid of the criticism. Ask for it. Embrace it. Use it to your advantage. And remember these words:
Writing is vulnerability.
IT’S TIME!!! Friends, I am finally open for business! If you have editing and/or proofreading needs, consulting needs, or the need for a fantastic fantasy map, I’m your girl! Take a look at my Services page to see what I’m now offering (and the rates), and if you need a little more convincing, look over at the Testimonials as well.
I can’t wait to work with you to make your stories shine!