I know that I’ve said here before that I hope to self-publish my book before I turn eighteen. At the moment, I’ve never felt so close to making that a reality.
I should be happy. I am way ahead of my editing schedule, and I know that the story has greatly improved since I first took that red pen to paper.
Yet I’m terrified.
Back during the extremely messy first draft/second draft phase, I sent out the first few chapters to crit partners and close friends. Needless to say, I felt absolutely crushed when I got their comments back, even though I know they were trying to help me improve my story. (And their feedback was really helpful. Without their help, I think I would still be stuck with a worse version of my first chapters.)
The problem with me, though, is that I take everything personally. When I tell myself not to, that people want to help me with my writing, I still feel like crying when I get comments back. They can even be grammar related, and I feel humiliated.
Even when it comes to my own mother, who, by the way, happens to be great at critiquing, I hesitate. She knows that, of course, and tries really hard to boost my self-confidence, but it doesn’t always work. Thoughts like these swirl around my head as she reads my chapters:
Does she think my story is boring?
Is she saying that just to be nice?
Does my writing stink? Is she judging me based on my writing?
Is she judging me based on my characters?
Part of the problem, too, is that I have poured so much of myself into this story that I’d feel embarrassed having friends and family read it. It’s like a journal with the most private things about my life bleeding through its pages. Do I really want people I know reading this story?
I’m trying to get past that fear of having others read my writing. After all, that’s kind of the point of writing stories: to be able to share something you’re passionate about, something that is close to your heart, with others. Or, at least, that’s why I write.
Plus, I know that the story can be better than it is right now. I love my novel, but I do want to put it down someday and know that it’s the best it can ever be. And I can’t make it that way on my own. Others will need to help show me the mistakes I failed to catch, even after countless hours of me staring at the story’s pages.
So, as scary as it is for me, I’m planning to have family and friends look over my novel soon. I even, in a spurt of bravery, signed up for an account on FictionPress and posted the first three chapters of my story for others to read and review.
(If you clicked that link to read the beginning of my story, I thank you so very much. If you even felt like leaving a review, no matter how small, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your time and your thoughts. ^_^)
I still have a long way to go in building my self-confidence and sharing my work with others. It’s extremely hard for me, but I’m getting there.