So, the question is: Should you share your work in progress or not?
Plenty of reasons not to. Who knows? I may regret doing so.
What if you share and you don’t get the response you want? Or you get your feelings hurt? Or they tell you everything your terrified of hearing? Or the life gets sucked out of your story? Or (insert your fear here). Take these concerns seriously.
I share out of fear. One day, you see, I want to be able to say to someone, “Yes, I wrote a book.” And I want to say this without the stammering, the blushing, the hesitation, the anxiety, the suspicion that I have no right to say any such thing, and the need for them to be interested. I want to be able to talk about being a writer without the fear. I want thick skin. I want to know I can put stuff out there and live to tell the tale.
This may be foolish at best and masochistic at worst.
But the publishing industry is brutal. Ever look at how many books get published and how many get attention? You will be rejected by agents. By publishers. By reviewers. By friends. By family. You may be either completely ignored or ripped apart. You may write everyday for the rest of your life and never publish. When your name comes up at family gatherings or office parties, people may roll their eyes–oh, the one who thinks she’s a writer. Whatever you do, don’t ask her about her novel!
I’m going to test the waters here, and perhaps I shall drown. If I’ve any luck at all, my novel’s pages will drift in on the tide. Is that why we do this crazy writing thing? So that after we’re pulled out to sea, our words can still be fished out of the deluge and read?
Hmm. I shall need waterproof ink.