Last night I spent several hours with some really talented writers, at PPW Member's Night at Poor Richard's Bookstore (Tejon, Colorado Springs). Sometimes member's night is a fun social event for all us kooky writer types, and sometimes some real work gets done.
Last night was the latter type.
It occurred to me as I listened to my compatriots, what courage it takes to sit in the middle of a bookstore with folk passing by, and read a work-in-progress out loud for all the world to hear. My projects really are my children, and while I am proud of them and want them to perform in public so all can see how amazing they are, I have also that fear of hearing that the child is ugly, or somehow less deserving of praise than you have heretofore thought.
But the character voices were strong -- from the Republican Vampire to the woman sending her husband off to war, to, well, me (who else stars in my work?) -- and the readers were fearless. And I think, all in all, the comments were productive, helpful, and frankly, inspired me to continue writing when I got home.
Even though it can feel threatening, sharing you work is a sure way to improve it, so that it eventually is ready for its intended audiences.
With whom do you share your work?
The final snippet: No thanks, I've heard wood whistle before (a statement made after being asked to move closer to a fire to hear odd noises coming from the logs, and met with much laughter).