Another confession – I am paranoid about people stealing my books and ideas. I’ve started Wattpad several times and I’ve always deleted my account because I’m afraid someone with more experience is going to steal my book and then my dreams to be an author will be crushed. This is most likely an unrealistic fear, but a fear I have nonetheless. The media that I have come to absolutely love is Pinterest, because the community of writers is fabulous, and I can share my work and talk to people without actually giving too much of my idea away.
This all being said, I think it’s really important to share your work. Some people write for themselves – that’s great. I love that you’re writing – but this isn’t me. I’m hoping to publish my work, so I want to know if other people are going to like it. It’s also a really good idea to let a fresh pair of eyes read your book. Something that might make sense to you – you created it, so I certainly hope it makes sense to you – might confuse your reader. Listen to what they have to say. They can often find legitimate problems you didn’t know existed.
This is where my advice about knowing your audience comes into play. I’m not going to give my book to a middle aged person whose passion is historical fiction if I’m writing a YA Sci-Fi romance. Chances are, they’re not going to enjoy my book. I’m really lucky to have found a few friends who are interested in the same genres I am and who are willing to take the time to read through my books. It’s not easy to find someone who is okay to read your work when, let’s face it, they’re probably expecting it to be crappy writing.
Be ready for rejection. It’s okay to want people to like you’re work, but remember you’re the author. This book is your baby, so it hurts when people criticize it – trust me, I know – but ultimately you have to remember that you know what is best for your book. Not everyone enjoys the same style of book. There are going to be people who don’t like your writing. That’s okay.
I have friends who get their works back and are devastated by the amount of red pen scribbled across their manuscript. A lot of people make the mistake of thinking they have to make every edit. Look at all those messy comments as ideas. You can decide which ideas to keep and which to throw away.
What are your favourite ways to share your work? What do you think are the benefits and downfalls of it?