I have a really difficult time putting my writing in the hands of other people. I ran around in mental circles trying to decide who to trust with the latest draft of my book. I procrastinated, honestly, because I knew a while ago who I could ask to read it but didn’t want to give it to that person because I wasn’t sure what their response would be. I had to learn a lesson…
You have to put it in somebody else’s hands!
I’ve always been concerned that the message I’m trying to get across won’t make sense to other people. I spend so much time in my own head that I don’t know if it makes sense when it comes out. However, after actually putting my writing in someone else’s hands, I learned that I can write things that not only make sense to other people, but that makes them feel things! That’s the goal, really, to make people feel things.
Talking to this person about how they felt reading the book gave me so much hope for what it could be. The feedback also gave me more confidence in my decision to put the book out into the universe (i.e. the Internet). This person’s thoughts on the book even gave me more confidence in putting it in the hands of a second person. I’m still waiting on feedback from the second person, but I’m not as nervous about the response.
If I get similar feedback from the second person as I did from the first, I will know that the book has good potential to land with my target demographic. Of course, I don’t have a lot of people to solicit reviews from, but I think the feedback from these two people will allow me to make the changes necessary to feel comfortable putting the book in the hands of an editor (who I will have to pay).
Moral of the story is that sometimes we hold on too tightly to what we hold dear, especially when it comes to our creative work. We have to let it go, let it out, and be open to receiving what comes back.