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Learning to share your work with other writers is an important first step to overcoming insecurites

Sharing your work with other writers is a scary step. But it's also an incredibly rewarding one. Nothing created is meant to exist in a vacuum, and that goes for words. Words are meant to be read, met to be ingested and interpreted, because humans (the font of words) are social creatures seeking connection to each other. And it can be an amazing feeling to get feedback (which is a kind of reward system for the brain). It feels good, and this in turn can urge you to repeat the process to get better and better at your craft.

Hopefully, writers will be supportive and encouraging. But sometimes they're not. That's just the way writers are. But I haven't yet run into a writer that wouldn't answer questions like: 1) what do you think is working well, and 2) what could I improve, and 3) is the point of view working, and 4) are the characters and story compelling enough for you to want to know more? Sure, every single one of us wants to hear the words, "This is perfect and amazing and don't change a thing." But I've never known that kind of compliment to come bubbling from anyone's lips. Part of that has to do with the fact that people use critique to sound intelligent about a topic. It's why a job where you get paid will never net you a flawless performance review: there's always something that can be improved, even if it is made up.

Being comfortable with yourself is almost impossible unless you're a Buddhist monk. So rather than overcome insecurity, I think it's important to realize that when you are feeling insecure it means that this is an opportunity for you to take a leap. In other words, life is asking you to take a risk (or to gamble at something). And just like gambling, there's usually a reward to go along with it. I used to think there were examples of terrible writing and examples of great writing. But now, I'd like to revise those terms. There is popular writing and unpopular writing and a thousand shades of gray in-between. Unpopular writing still has an audience. There are people out there who will just love it and think it is the best thing ever because it creates some kind of emotional reaction in them. Popular writing just has a bigger audience...more people are apt to be connected to it in some way. But writing doesn't have to be "excellent" to be popular. I think this year's republican primary shows this particular idea in spades.

Anyway, learning to share your work with other writers is an important first step to overcoming insecurities. I thought I'd talk about that for today's Insecure Writer's Support Group post and wish you well on your writing journey.

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