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Below are the 5 stages of confidence that I went through in showing others my writing.
Stage 1. I am never going to show my writing to anyone.
This initial stage lasted several years. My writing was kept hidden and never mentioned to anyone. Bit like a naughty secret!
Stage 2. I will only show my writing to my husband.
I hid behind the sofa with a cushion over my head whilst he read an extract. He said I could write but he didn’t like the story. I was crushed.
Stage 3. I will only read out my writing to my Creative Writing class on a Monday night.
This took some guts. The fact that they didn’t know me helped. It was the first time anyone other than my husband had heard my stuff. Sweaty palms and trembling hands. I read too fast and the tutor commented on how relieved I looked when I had finished. I got a mixed response and was mortified at the negative comments. Had lots of little weeping sessions in my car and ate a lot of chocolate during this stage.
Stage 4. I will start a blog but won’t post any of my own stories on there.
This was ok at first. I happily published posts about writing techniques and advice but didn’t publish any of my stuff. Some bloggers started asking me why I wasn’t posting any of my stories. I felt like a fraud during this stage. Here I was loving the whole ‘writer’ title but not actually demonstrating that I could write.
Stage 5. I am going to publish my stories on my blog.
The ‘oh what the hell!’ feeling took over and I started publishing my stories. I have received constructive feedback on my writing, via my blog, and this feedback has helped me improve as a writer.
Even now when I see that bloggers have commented I still get the urge to run and hide behind the sofa with a cushion over my head.