Alright. It’s November 25. Which means that NaNo is almost done. Almost. And at this point people are finishing up and likely thinking “Goodness gracious… is anyone ever going to read it? Is anyone ever going to appreciate it?”
I know that I have the same doubts all of the time. I’m constantly doubting whether my writing is good enough.
But believe me. When I get the courage to share, 98% of the time, compliments roll in. Even when I think that what I shared could quite possibly be the worst thing ever written in human history, someone genuinely, really likes it. And that’s something. But you’re never going to know what people think of your writing if you never, ever share.
I know, sharing our novels/stories/general writing is something that not a lot of us feel comfortable with doing. There have been times when someone wanted to read my work and so I purposefully deleted dozens of files. Extreme reaction, I know. But I wanted to be able to say “Nah, I don’t have anything for you to read”. And some of that stuff that I deleted wasn’t all that bad now that I think back on it. But I deleted them because I didn’t want people to hate them.
My father has always been the most supportive person towards my writing. He reads everything that I write and he tells me what he did and didn’t like. While he is the person I share most of my stuff with, he is also my largest critic. Oddly, I don’t care. I know that he’s trying to help me out. People in my writing circle generally like my stories. They only tell me good things about them. My dad, however, while he likes them, is the one who tells me what things worked and what didn’t. I suppose that he’s probably an editor for me as well.
Where I was trying to go with this whole explanation is this: Share your work with, not necessarily the people who always tell you that your work is great. Well, okay, you should share it with those people, but don’t only show it to those people. Show it to someone you feel comfortable with. I feel comfortable with my dad critiquing my work because I know that he’s doing it in my best interest. Some people will be just plain mean to you after they read your work. But I guarantee you, someone out there will love it.
People like all sorts of different things. Not everyone likes Harry Potter. A lot of people do, that’s true, but not everyone does. So, while it’s likely that not everyone will like your novel, a lot of people might. And you’re missing out on all of that if you never share any of it with the world.
So, for those of you who are doing NaNo and are about to cross that finish line but are second-guessing themselves: finish the novel. Finish it, edit it, and share it. Someone out there is going to love it.