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Writing is your art

Can you be brave enough to share the gift of your writing?

Even with all the writing I’ve already done and shared, letting others read what I’ve just put out into the world is often still hard. Like many writers who’ve been brave enough to share their creativity with words, I’ve received a broad range of comments. They’ve included teary-eyed praise to looks of confusion. During one graduate studies class I repeatedly sat in the hot seat, which is where your fellow writers criticize your works (in theory this is done with constructive words). Some of the suggestions bordered on attacking me personally.

After the worst experience in the hot seat it took me a red-eyed month to shake it off. I am well familiar with criticism, whether it be hateful or constructive. I understand how difficult it can be to share a poem or fictional story.

In nonfiction when someone critiques your writing it often feels like they are critiquing what happened to you. As a ghostwriter I worked with some authors who were sharing real life experiences, the most personal of all. Some were dealing with PTSD while simultaneously writing about the trauma they experienced. PTSD can make you feel like you’re permanently in the hot seat. In the edits I sent them there were many positive comments along with the kindly worded constructive ones. What writer wouldn’t want to know what works along with what doesn’t?

There’s also another way I can relate to writers who hate criticism. I am an HSP. If you’ve ever heard of a Highly Sensitive Person (yes, it’s a real term) it’s probably because you are one or know one. Everything from t-shirt tags to fluorescent lights drives me up a wall. Getting critiqued on my writing is like having my entire body covered in t-shirt tags.

To summarize, I understand a writer’s hesitation to share a story with the world. I say let go of the fear of criticism and embrace the constructive. Find a place you trust to share your work and hit publish. Be brave!

A piece of writing is your art, your gift to the world. 

If you want more encouragement about writing read my favourite blog post:

http://jlgillham.com/rockstar

 

Photo by nuchylee

 

3 comments (Add your own)

1. Melissa S. wrote:
Excited for you, Jen! i have loved watching your talent and dedication grow over the decades, YES, decades.... !
It's inspiring to me how you've taken something that is such an intimate part of you and acquired more tools, outlets and critiques along the way in the name of honoring your sacred craft. I know what it all means to you and remember being there after that red-eyed month - you got stronger, not in your writing (you already had that) but in your belief In yourself and resolve to keep going, keep writing, keep sharing and keep your chin up in a world that doesn't always understand the story

Wed, February 24, 2016 @ 6:26 AM

2. Amy K. wrote:
From one fellow writer to the next I think it's awesome what you're creating!

Wed, February 24, 2016 @ 6:29 AM

3. Sarah G. wrote:
I.really.love.this.
The simple message God put on my heart seems too simple and too juvenile (but it is probably the most complicated of all the commands God gives). I've hesitated putting it down b/c thus far, I'm not a published writer. And, the question, 'could I really do this?' creeps up all the time. Does what I have to say matter? Will others relate? Take heed? Will God use it? Etc, etc, etc.
Gotta chew on this more but u may be hearing from me soon...

Wed, February 24, 2016 @ 6:30 AM

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