Thursday, January 10, 2013

No One Creates Solely - A Writing Journal

It's so stereotypical for an artist to say, "no, you can't see it" or "no, it's private" when asked about viewing their work. But... why? For those of you writing out there, I'm sure it seems very obvious.  However, from the perspective of someone who doesn't create in the traditional artistic sense, it's hard to comprehend.

Firstly, it's important to understand that this artist has spend a large amount of time on their work. Whether it be hours, days, weeks, months, or even years, they've slaved over their work for a considerable amount of time and contributed a significant amount of effort.

A negative comment without any forethought only takes seconds to utter. By sharing their work with you, this person, this friend, is literally lying themselves out for you to stare at, judge, and potentially ruin. You have every right to your honest opinion, no matter what that opinion might be. You have every right to love what this artist has created, or really dislike what they've done. This artist knows very well that you could despise it. I assure you that they've thought about it. This artist knows that no matter what they do there is still a very large chance that you will not be satisfied by their work. They do not have any power over this situation. They've handed over the power to you, the reader; the power that they've hoarded since the thought of this story originally occurred. 

On the other side of things, if a writer never shares anything they've written, they can only get so far. Sharing a story makes the story more real in itself, allowing the story a potential it never could have had should it never have been shared. Sharing one's work is the only way for a writer to gain honest feedback. This is how writers advance their work. As much as artists like to deny it, they can't do everything by themselves. The fact of the matter is that no one creates solely. Writers like to think that an author writes a book by themselves, without any outside help. However, this is a large misconception.

Because, for every book there's a teacher, an editor, a sibling, a parent, a friend, or a stranger on the internet (or all of the above), who contributed to any given literary work. What do you think the acknowledgements section of a book is for? No one creates solely.

There's no cure for the fear we face when sharing our work. As scary as it may be, sharing is an essential part of the creative process. When you decide to share your work is up to you. Just remember that any given reader may hate your work, but they may love it. Above all, it is important to remember that no matter what they think, no one single opinion defines you or your story. At least you're courageous enough to show them. 

And then that person, and that rejection or that compliment, will be part of your story as well. 

What are your thoughts on sharing your work? Who's contributed to your writing? Leave a comment below! 

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