Monday, May 23, 2016

Sharing Your Work

I wonder if there is a line.
You know that line where you have the opportunity to share something, and you over-share? Or under-share?  And then you wonder if anyone thinks you're absolutely crazy because you just shared?

How do you share your writing work?

When someone asks you, 'What are you working on?', do you shrug your shoulders, look down at the ground and mumble, 'Oh, just another middle-grade fiction...takes place in New York... so how's your dad doing?'
Or do you tell them, 'Well, I'm working on another novel, and it's not quite like the last two, it's completely different, but it's still the same genre, and this time the character is just a little bit older, and he lives in New York with his dad, but his dad died, see, and he has to figure out how to take out the bad guys by himself, and it all takes place during the early 2000, because then it wouldn't really work...' and they turn away.

When you're invited to teach a little lesson on how to write a mystery, and you decide to share a few pages of your book with the class, do you read really quickly? Do you skip over sentences and words because you think you might bore them? Do you shrug your shoulders and say, 'sorry' a lot because you think that they can write better than you? Do you interrupt yourself constantly and explain why you wrote that sentence, what you were feeling, what you ate during that page-writing session and how it reminded you that you had to pay your taxes etc?

How does one find that line, to carefully walk upon, and not fall off?

Some writers are boring with their constant Facebook statuses and their twitter accounts, bragging about their writing, putting about 50 words with hashtags in front of them, trying to tease the reader but are just annoying.
 Some writers are mean with their elusive Facebook statuses and their twitter accounts, not saying a single word, or just saying a single word, trying to tease the reader but are annoying because they make you wait and wonder impatiently what they are talking about.
 Some writers are perfectly witty with their laughable Facebook statuses and their twitter accounts, showing gif's of puppies running into glass doors and babies falling asleep, trying to tease the reader, but just make the reader fall in love with them.

How do we know if we have fallen off that line?

I have no idea.

I guess it all boils down to the question of, are we being humble?  Are we being kind? Are we being encouraging of other writers? Are we keeping our mouths shut about writers we don't care for? Are we able to honestly have joy, not envy in our hearts when a writer has success, and we don't?  Are we able to close our eyes at night and realize that we are doing our best, our honest-to-goodness best?

Are you?

Jenn Kelly is a farmer who is supposed to be writing.  This is a photo of her vegetable garden because she is so busy she can't think straight, let alone post these thoughts first thing in the morning when she was supposed to. Regardless of all of that, she thinks you're very lovely and you should be writing more and she believes in you. But much more importantly, GOD believes in you.

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