On the Fear of Sharing

fear-of-sharingMoleskine on Moleskine on Moleskine

I’ve written a lot.

Poems, journal entries, short stories, introspective thoughts, hell, I’ve even written fanfiction. I have folders of old stories, both physically and digitally, and there’s a common aspect to all of these pieces: I haven’t shared them with anyone.

Even writing this post out now, my fingers are trembling slightly, because the thought of sharing my own creative work with an audience is so terrifying to me. To be judged for my words, to be critiqued, to even be hated, as some writers are.

I’ve always been someone who took criticism to heart. I’ll dwell on comments for a lifetime, even though I know that my writing won’t please everyone, that someone out there will always have a problem with what I write. And that’s okay. But that knowledge doesn’t stop the discouragement I feel when my writing ignites criticism, filling my mind with negative thoughts like,”Oh god, I’m not cut out to be a writer” and “I really can’t make it in this industry.”

I let those thoughts consume me, so instead of sharing what I write, which is the only thing that will get me further in this community, I hide it all. I let the fear and the anxiety take over. I say I write a lot, but what exactly do I have to show for it?

There’s only one way to get passed this fear and it’s to share. To share my writing, to keep sharing, to not let my finger come close to the trash icon, which is usually where my writing ends up. To share, and to welcome comments, both positive and negative, to let people in and to let people read.

I don’t know why that’s so scary to me. Especially sharing with people I know personally, to let my friends and my peers read. I’ve always overvalued the opinions of those around me. Because what if they think my writing is dumb and stupid, even though I like what I write about. I like the style that’s constantly being developed into my own, I like how my words flow into each other, I like the things and ideas I’m writing about.  Why am I letting other people control what I do?

Sharing is such a frightening thing to do, and it’s something I’m still learning how to do. I’ve posted two writing pieces so far, Body Aches and Gunshot, and I kept going back and forth between posting those because I was so nervous to hear other people’s thoughts, scared that my aspiring goal to be a novelist will be laughed at because my writing is abysmal. But I did it, and it’s a step in the right direction.

So I need to learn how to share. To share openly, to share unapologetically, to share and not be afraid. To just let my writing speak for itself, and to not be fearful anymore.

I just need to keep reminding myself.

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7 thoughts on “On the Fear of Sharing

  1. I feel the same way about my writing! I think it’s because writing (even fanfiction or short stories) is so personal. It’s a piece of our experience, our life that we’re transferring onto paper, so sharing it to the world means placing a piece of ourselves in the hands of others.

    Love your posts, I’m glad you’re striving to share more! I will be doing the same haha. We’re in this together girl 🙂

  2. It’s definitely weird how life can be dominated by fears, even by something as small as sharing written work. Thank you so much for the encouragement!

  3. Emily, your posts, Gunshot and Body aches, are awesome. I’m sure that somewhere inside of you, you know that they are beautiful too. Please don’t trash your writing because the WP community would love to read it 😀

  4. They’re so interesting, our fears. I think everyone is afraid – to some extent – of sharing their writing, for fear of harsh words or feedback. We’re all a little different about it too, though. I have no problem sharing my private and personal writings, creative expression, or thoughts with complete strangers (ie: here on WordPress), but I near refuse to share my writing with people I actually know. Save for about 2 people, anyway.

    I am sure you’re a lovely writer, Why don’t you start out easy and share with us one of your short stories? 🙂 I’d love to read it!

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