Choosing the writer’s path is never an easy one. We walk in solitary contemplation, pouring our heart and soul out onto blank pieces of paper or a computer screen and tearing out our essence from our bodies. We spend countless hours writing, crossing out words and paragraphs and pages then adding them back in. Sometimes the words flow like a river’s cascade, and other times we fight for every word. The battle scars are visible in our eyes for those that understand.
After we go through this trial another one looms. How in hell do you share your work with anyone? After all that time and effort we become momma lionesses protecting her cubs. Yet we have to hand over those children to others, sometimes strangers, for them to clean and polish. These cubs have to transform from awkward cubs to muscled and sleek lions that can hunt and lead. I’m pushing the metaphor a bit, but go with the spirit of it.
Finding the right beta readers for your work can be tough. There’s the question of genre, style, critique method, and just plain finding out if you like and trust someone enough to hand the raw draft to. I’ve been “interviewing” potential readers lately, trying to find those that I connect with. I am fortunate that I may have found a couple that are the best fit for my work.
Although writing is a lonely journey, we do not have to be alone in our struggles as writers. I’ve been finding a community on various social media sites, and I was astonished to find groups of other writers who welcome and freely share advice. To see everyone jumping in to help promote each other and answer questions about the writing process helped me ease the worry in my mind. I now have people I can reach out to and learn from, and even share my raw work with. That’s the power of writers when they come together as a community, despite being separated by miles and even oceans.
So to those I have met along the way and have yet to meet, thank you. I appreciate your thoughtfulness and your humor along the winding paths we follow.
In light, Autumn
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