Desperate for a reader

Should you ask your friend to read your work? —

You might be writing just for yourself. That’s good. Writing is such a highly entertaining activity, and you can become engrossed in your own story so that the time goes quickly.

You have to come up for air now and then.

And when you do, you look around and wonder, ‘Should I let someone else read this?’. You might want feedback, or to know if your story has resonance with other readers and writers. Don’t bother to ask, ‘Is this any good?’, instead think about whether you are connecting with the reader. If the old house is falling down, have you conveyed that so that we care about it? The vines on the porch, paint peeling off — who used to live there, what were their hopes and dreams? . . . that’s the stuff.

cropped-Old-cottage-in-Ogunquit-Rte-1-20120403-ACDibble-photo-5_P.jpg

Choose your reader carefully. Don’t necessarily go for the nearest warm body. Find someone who has some time for you, who loves to read, and who is coherent in commenting back.

For the sake of that reader, bring your work a little farther along before subjecting someone else to a half-baked version of the story. This means rewrite first, then rewrite again. Rewrite again and again after that. You get the idea.

If you live where there is a writer’s group, see about attending a meeting. They might be a source of encouragement and nurturing. They might allow you to read an excerpt and then sit in silence while you receive their instantaneous impressions. This can be so helpful!  Try not to take a critique  personally, but take notes and ponder it later. In turn, you might be able to help another writer find her/his best approach to another person’s sensibilities. This is a great way you can contribute.

Maybe there is no writer’s group where you live. You could start one.  Put up a notice at the public library and see where you get.

 

— Manna is everywhere! –

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