Being highly sensitive is a gift for writers, but it can make it very difficult to share your writing if you’ve ever felt shut down by someone’s reaction to it.
I know how hard it can be to come back and share your work again. But if you’ve ever felt burned by a writing critique, it’s important not to let it get in the way of sharing your work with the world.
I encourage you to listen in as I share 4 tips to get over bad feedback, create safety and take the first step of sharing your work again.
In this episode, you’ll learn:
- How to build trust again after a writing critique.
- How not to let bad feedback get in the way of writing.
- 4 tips to share your writing with the world again.
- Why writing critique groups may be unhelpful.
- How to find the right mentor you can share your writing with.
Resources Featured In This Episode For Writers Afraid To Share Their Writing:
- Apply to the Spark your Story intensive.
- Follow me on Instagram!
- Email me!
- Sign up for my email list!
- Learn how to write about trauma, grief, and loss.
Your key takeaways from ‘Afraid To Share Your Writing? Try This’
So many wonderful writers have had bad experiences where they’ve taken the brave step of showing their work to an instructor or fellow writer, and have been burned by unhelpful feedback. I know how hard it can be to come back and share your writing again.
I believe stories are important, and your story matters, so I hope if you’ve felt shut down you won’t let it get in the way of sharing your work with the world.
Here are four tips to get over bad feedback and share your writing again.
- If your goal is to write creative nonfiction, personal essays or long-form memoir, avoid sharing your work with writers who aren’t working in your genre. Reading and responding to a personal narrative requires greater sensitivity because of the vulnerability inherent to telling these stories.
- If you do decide to share work with another writer, make sure there are strict parameters to your discussion. Keep it focused on craft, and highly specific. Getting feedback like “This didn’t really work for me, but I don’t know why” should be off the table. Vague opinions just aren’t helpful, and they breed self-doubt.
- Avoid writing critique groups. I think the traditional workshopping model is, at best unhelpful for new writers or writers who are too early in the writing process for input – and at worst, it can shut writers down for years. I didn’t make the biggest gains as a writer in college workshopping courses; I made the biggest strides working one on one with a trusted mentor.
- Build courage by working with a writer who has an excellent reputation as a mentor.
- Screen them first by asking how they help writers develop their craft
- Let them know you’ve been burned in the past and what you’d find most helpful would be a reader who can show them what’s working, what to do more of, and suggested next steps.
- Ideally, you’ll want to find a writer with a teaching background – or experience holding space for emerging writers as a mentor.
- Someone who is concerned with maintaining a safe space where your creativity can thrive, and you can grow.
Remember: A good mentor will want you to keep writing! They will ask the right questions, offer the right kind of support, and always have your best interests at heart.
Once you’ve taken that first step to developing confidence in your work, it will get easier to share your work with others. As your next brave step, you might decide to sign up for a course or submit your work to a journal.
If you’re looking for a mentor who will treat you and your work with respect, and offer useful feedback, I encourage you to apply to the Spark Your Story Intensive – my 12-week program that includes 1:1 mentoring for writers who want to publish a memoir or essay collection.