Sorry about the unfortunate disruption to my schedule. Now that I’ve scarred my parents, who couldn’t resist, let’s continue.
Today I want to speculate over a very strange phenomena. We write and we write and we write with dreams of publication, but some people – or maybe it’s just me – would be horrified if anyone actually read it. Here are the reasons I can think up. If you have any more, feel free to share.
1. Perfectionism. It can always be better. I won’t let anyone read it until I’ve ironed out every little flaw. The problem with this is: it’ll never be perfect. I have to get over that. Going through the IB was immensely helpful on that front – it beat the perfectionism out of me through homework overload and encroaching deadlines.
2. Genre Transplant. Maybe my parents want to read it. But what if my parents are enthusiastic readers of historical fiction, and I’ve written a book about dragons and wizards? I might be terrified that they’ll hate the genre and hate the story. (Note – until you hit a certain age, your parents are pretty much honor bound to love whatever you do. Make use of this for your self-esteem!)
3. Insecurity. Maybe I really don’t think the story is good enough. Every project goes through the phase where you start comparing. The dialogue is bad, characters flat, setting uninspired – I want to print the manuscript off and set it on fire. Everyone reading it would just laugh. There’s no quick fix on this one. I just have to convince myself that I didn’t write the worst piece of literature since Breaking Dawn.
Got any other reasons to hide? Have any horror/success stories of when you actually let someone read something? Share them here.