Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Hitting send

This has been a big couple of days for me in my development as a writer. I did something that I typically have a hard time doing- I let someone else read what I wrote.

That probably sounds pretty crazy, right? Someone who wants to be a writer has a hard time letting people read her writing? Crazy, perhaps, but true. Many writers have talked a lot about how they always wanted to be a writer, about how they never stopped writing no matter what . Maddie has plenty of unfinished or partially finished manuscripts under her belt. My journey has been somewhat different.

I love writing, and I always have. When I was younger, I wrote a lot of fiction. Once I got to high school, I pretty much stopped. While I still really enjoyed writing essays and articles, the fiction just stopped for me. I'm not sure why.

Actually, I do know why- I lost confidence. I didn't think I was good enough. I didn't think there was any point. And that self-doubt translated into terror at showing anyone my fiction. That feeling has stayed with me for many years.

Finishing this novel has been such an amazing accomplishment for me. I never believed I could do it. The only thing more amazing is that I am willingly (eagerly, even) sharing my work with other people. I have sent the completed draft to be read by three beta readers (all friends) and have sent the opening chapters out to critique sites to get feedback from strangers.

It was scary, hitting that send button to deliver the manuscript to other people. But it was exhilarating too. And you know what? I've gotten some really awesome feedback- and not just from my friends. Strangers seem to like my book too! But the weirdest thing is this: the positive reviews (though really fun and awesome) are not my favorite part of this process. The best part, for me, has been the constructive feedback I've gotten. I have a dozen or so really good ideas for changes. Things that might make my book better.

I'm so excited to do that- to make my book better. And I'm even more excited to share it with all of you when it gets there.

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