Tuesday, September 26, 2017

On Writing: Brave (Erin)

Okay. I have a confession to make. No one in my family of origin has read my finished manuscript. Or the completed two-thirds of the sequel. I have great parents, two sisters and two brothers, who all have wonderful significant others. They are all loving, supportive, and talented, and would have valuable input. But none of them have read my work.

None of my students have read my work either. I was blessed last year to teach an amazing class of creative writers, and, while I read a couple scenes to them, I never asked any of them to read my manuscript. They would have been honest, funny and gracious. . . but I didn't ask.

My hesitance comes despite a group of beta readers who were mostly positive. Despite enjoying my work when I read it to myself. Despite my husband and kids being fans. Despite regularly challenging my family members, friends and students to show up and be vulnerable.

Really, I think that is the heart of the matter. Writing is vulnerable. My writing exposes a lot more of my feelings, thoughts and heart than I expected. So instead of sharing, I hide behind doubts.

What if my writing really isn't that good?
What if my book is just a knock-off of whatever book I read last?
What if my work is too Christian. . . or not Christian enough?
What if people recognize parts of my story from real life. . . and are offended?
What if the story is just dumb?

I don't know. But we were at a family get-together last weekend, and for the second time this month, my family asked about my story. My oldest daughter promised to sneak into my computer files and deliver the manuscript. My sister-in-law promised to help make and distribute copies. Their comments were made tongue-in-cheek, but they have a point. Maybe it is time. I have been waiting for some type of inspiration to sit back down at my desk. . . maybe I need to be brave enough to let that inspiration come from outside of me this time.




  1. I can so relate to this, Erin! I'm a little scared to have total strangers read my book, but way more terrified to have close family and friends read it! My writing reveals a lot about myself as well, and you're absolutely right that it's hard to be that vulnerable with something that means so much to you and that you've worked so hard on. Something for us both to work on! :)

  2. It can be terrifying to share your work with others, I agree. But if other writers say it's good, and you think it's good, then don't keep it from a world in need of another good story! Share your gift. :)


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