Okay, back to writing. I haven’t really talked about it much over the duration of the last few posts; actually there haven’t been a last few posts. I don’t post on Sunday, that’s a relatively new rule, and I didn’t post at all last week. I really don’t have a valid excuse to offer for that. However, for quite some time I have been attempting to get back to the writing part of this blog, but it seems as if I always stray from that commitment. In part, it’s because I have a life. I can’t just devote every day to a blog that has never earned me a penny the time it would require to produce quality content and tips on writing or how to write.
I hope you have benefited from some of my previous posts on that topic, but I fear it will only ever be an often visited subject, rather than a standard staple. Today, I’m going to talk a little bit about personal writing, how others can be a part of it, how personal should it be, how much of it we can share or should share, and how we can benefit by sharing our writing with others.
Firstly, I have been part of a fantasy writers group on Facebook for several months now, just trying to network with some people, make a name for myself in the group, and become respected for my knowledge of fantasy and how to incorporate it into stories. However, I’ve yet to really share any information there or samples of my writing with any of my audience before it comes to publication. The primary reason for that is partly selfish, but also it’s not a part of my character to share unfinished work.
I’m a perfectionist, but I’m also an introvert as much as my life will allow me to be. That means I like to keep my work to myself, my parents didn’t even know I was writing a book until just before I was in the process of trying to get it published. It’s not really in my nature to tell people about what I’m doing. Also, being that I am a perfectionist I don’t like sharing work that I don’t feel is completed or that may be imperfect with others. However useful they might prove to be to progressing the story, enhancing the content, or inspiring new ideas on a specific topic or area, it’s just not comfortable for me.
Actually, I may be more of a perfectionist than that, my work is never good enough for me. It may excel others expectations, it may be picture-perfect and excellent in their minds, but I hold a greater standard for writing than even I can achieve. Perhaps one day I will get to the point where I am satisfied with one of my projects. When that day comes, if it ever comes, that project will be one of the greatest literary works of our generation. Not because I’m a great writer, but because I will have achieved a standard of perfection that is several cuts above the recognized “excellent” of modern fantasy fiction literature.
So it’s difficult for me to be open about my work, however, it’s also necessary for me. I’m not a consistently driven person. Essentially what that means is that I don’t often drive myself to do what I want. Even if I set my own goals, I am not necessarily capable of fulfilling them. I need someone to share an interest in my projects to keep them moving, to inspire me to continue my projects. I have that in a select few friends, very few, without whom I would not be a writer at all today. And sometimes that’s all you can do, sometimes that’s as far as you are comfortable with being with your work. But it’s good to have many ideas, many thoughts, many minds working on your project with you. Other people see things you don’t, you are not your reader, so an outside perspective is needed to achieve the proper goals.
I can say this with honesty, and I believe it is true of every single author in existence: you cannot think like your reader will.
A writer is incapable of looking at their work from a perspective that is not their own. What I mean by that is every writer sees what they see, They will always be the writer of the story, they can’t look at it from an outside perspective because they built the story. They know too much that isn’t even in the words of the book.
So, via Facebook group, via circle of editing friends, or even just close friends, there is a necessity for most writers to have a readership that can give them honest opinions of what the demographic is looking for in the work, what is needed, what is not needed, how to better the product to appeal to the desired demographic.
Sometimes it’s uncomfortable, but it needs to be done.
As always, thanks for reading.
–the anonymous novelist