Tuesday, November 8, 2011

To Share or Not?

Everywhere you turn there are sites popping up online to share your writing. For many they build a sense of community and provide support for those who may not otherwise have someone to give feedback on their work. You can share bits and pieces of your story, or even enter your entire story into contests. In fact, some writing communities like InkPop.com have systems that allow members to vote on each others work. The stories that get the most votes may even have the opportunity to be reviewed by an editor at HarperTeen. Several YA authors have been found that way, and I think it's great. 

But when it comes to sharing my own writing online, even little snippets as short as 2-3 sentences makes me want to crawl into a hole and my palms start sweating. I've participated very lightly with our own teaser posts, but it makes me nervous beyond belief.

I don't know if it's because I'm a very nervous person, or if I'm just not wanting to jinx myself when it comes to sharing things online. Maybe I'm overly private or maybe I just don't believe my story is "there" yet, but for whatever reason, I just feel extremely uncomfortable when it comes to sharing my own writing online. 

I recently read a post on another YA author's blog. She was celebrating that she now has an agent and was telling her story of how that came to pass. She'd been very private about the whole querying process and didn't talk much about her writing at all either on twitter or elsewhere online. I find that I share a lot of her viewpoints. 

But then there are also authors who are completely comfortable sharing their work. They have many followers and readers, and that is definitely a bonus. When the time comes to seek an agent, they already have a decent number of people who know who they are and are looking forward to when their book will be available. 

For me though, something about sharing my writing in such a public way just doesn't sit right with me. So I know that going forward, I'll be one of those writers you hear very little about until the magical day I get to announce that I have an agent and/or a publishing contract. And I'm okay with that. I'm much more comfortable holding onto my idea and my characters until then. 

What about you? Do you participate in any online writing groups? Do you feel comfortable sharing your writing online?


  1. I know where you're coming from! What helped me overcome my *public* shyness was working at a newspaper where I had my own column - at first I was ready to barf with nerves and nearly cringed to lay my writing right out there in plain sight, so to speak.

    On the plus side, the positive reinforcement you get from readers and peers can be highly motivating to produce more/better/faster work :D

  2. I am a member of Inkpop and I love it. My brother is really nervous about me sharing my stuff online but I think its good. My writing has really improved since I've joined. I don't share my whole works online, unless its poems or short stories, but with books it's only the first four chapters or so.

  3. M.A.D. I can see where that would be really helpful. The "ready to barf" thing definitely sounds familiar.

    Sareh, I've heard so many great things about Inkpop. I even joined and took a look around, but ended up not sharing anything. I'm such a scaredy cat. LOL