It requires a wonderfully attuned system to channel creative works, and writers are highly sensitive people.
That same precociousness also enables us to pick up on what others are feeling, and it can present as a porousness when it comes to other people’s responses to our work.
Because the writing process often includes the sharing of our work, some mindfulness about how we go about this sharing can serve to safeguard our spirits — and our writing.
Here are some of my personal rules, though of course each writer will have their own individual approach:
- Treat your new work like your babe! Be as protective as you like about who — if anyone — gets to read it, and let them know what kind of response you would like. If you don’t want a critique of your new work, be explicit about this. Perhaps it would serve you better to hear where your reader connected to your piece.
- Choose your editors with great care. Just because someone writes books does not mean that they are skilled at editing them. Feel free to request a sample edit, and listen to your heart. A good editor will support you to improve your writing and feel great about yourself and your work in the process.
- Take response to your work as lightly as possible. Remember that some of our most beloved books were rejected dozens of times before they met with publication or were self-published by their authors. Remember this especially if your work is particularly unique and counter-cultural!
In and of itself, the practice of writing requires a great deal of faith and courage.
When we add to that the boldness required to share our creations with the world, writers rise to the level of the heroic!
Writing is huge work, and we writers need and deserve to respect and protect the process that creates it.