Share This

Watching the Disclaimers [Tall Drink of Nerd]

As blog comments go, the comment Ernessa left on my blog about giving up finishing my memoir, The Year That Sucked, was pretty intense. I’m not saying it’s the only reason I decided to keep on trucking with the novel, but it did sway me. Draft Two just went to my writing group for their feedback.

Sending my writing for feedback is almost as scary as being chased through abandoned woods by a hockey-masked psychopath. Almost. If anybody in my group insists on wearing a hockey mask to give feedback, then I might be equally as scared.

Every single time I share writing, whether aloud in a class or here with you folks, I feel an intense and overwhelming desire to add qualifiers. When I sent the second draft of the novel to the group, I wanted to write about 40 different things in the email about “I know I need to do more character development for Bubba…” Or “Some of these scenes are just rough sketches, I know I need to fill them in more.” Basically, a qualifier is saying ‘I know this sucks, oh and here are the areas that I know that suck. Just so you know that when you realize it sucks, I’m with you on that one!’

I hate that I use qualifiers (even stating that is a qualifier)! My desperate need to add qualifiers reveals my tender lack of self-confidence. Realizing that, I fight the urge to qualify, I think I’m successful about 70% of the time. I would love to display the sense of pride I have in my work all the time, but sometimes the neurosis wins.

At its most basic, sharing creativity is displaying your inner-most thoughts, feelings and desires, which is something most people guard pretty tightly. It’s like tearing your heart out of your body and showing it to folks around you, asking what they think of your heart. My aortic feedback is coming on Easter Sunday. But this time, in addition to being neurotically worried about the flaws, I’m equally exhilarated to get suggestions and reactions. I’m looking forward to hearing what fresh eyes see. I’m looking forward to getting feedback to make this story stronger.

After all the waffling, I’m glad I made the decision to keep going and finish The Year That Sucked. Hopefully by the 3rd, 4th, 5th draft, the only qualifier I be compelled to add is “I’m sorry that this book is so awesome that it’s going to make every other book you’ve ever read pale in comparison.”

So how do you deal with sharing your creative projects? I just read that Adele gets so nervous that she has thrown up before shows. Are you loud and proud when you share or do you feel the need to add disclaimers (or hurl) when sharing your art with others?

featured image credit: HPUPhotogStudent