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spinach 02-16-2007 08:13 PM

Hi! I'm new to this forum. I just started a freelance writing class a few weeks ago and I've hit a snag. I wrote a personal essay (still a rough draft) in the vein of Brain, Child. I told a friend about it and she said she looked forward to reading it. I've been a little freaked out ever since. I can imagine sending it into a magazine where strangers are reading my essay but I feel vulnerable having someone I know read it. Am I crazy? Is this common? How do I get over this unreasonable fear?

Twocoolboys 02-18-2007 05:06 PM

Spinach - I have the same problem. My issue is that I am generally a very gaurded person. It takes me a long time to get to know people and writing, well that is just a glimpse inside, you know? Even for people that I know really well, like my family, I still feel like what I write is SO personal. But, I am getting better at letting go of caring about what people think of me, and that includes my writing. It takes a lot of courage to write and get it out there, so you are being very brave!

wordmommy 02-20-2007 01:31 PM

You just have to take a deep breath and let your loved ones read you. I used to run from the room and bury my head under my pillows when my DH read my stuff. The thing about letting your los read your writing is that if they don't like it, they probably won't tell you because they love you. Or they'll be really kind about it. (Which can be a double edged sword when you get around to dealing with editors... )

Good luck to you!

Unagidon 02-20-2007 06:03 PM

I find it easier (and in a way more productive) to talk about my stuff with people who are closest to me than to actually show it to them. If it makes you uncomfortable and you are just starting out, I suggest that you don't show it to those people yet. It is sort of like learning to play a musical instrument. You probably wouldn't invite friends to a recital until you felt that you could play well, although it probably wouldn't bother you too much to have passing strangers hear you practicing through a window.

But speaking stranger to stranger, why not post your piece here?

mrskennedy 02-22-2007 07:54 PM

I can't tell you if this fear is normal, but does it really matter? It's how you feel, and no one should invalidate you by saying your feelings aren't normal. I hate it when people do that! But anyway, I've been a professional writer for 4 years already, and I still don't let many people I know read my work. If they come across it somewhere, that's usually ok, although it is a little embarrassing when they comment on it. But I don't tell them, "Hey! I published ___ in ___, and you should read it!" It makes me feel vulnerable, too. The only person I don't mind reading my work, though I still don't make an effort to have him do it, is DH.

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