Friday, 1 February 2013

The fear

You write something, craft it, mould it over years. You devote every spare minute to it. At times your mind seems to be infected by it, every thought revolving around it. Until, at last, your very soul fuses with it.
And then it's done. Your masterpiece. Your baby. Finished.
You might sit back and simply behold it, basking in its shiny radiance.

Really, you should leave it there.

But vanity is a powerful motivator. First it's your friend that asks quietly if they can read it. Then, their friend, and theirs. God forbid, maybe even your mother wants to read it.

And suddenly, you find that your shiny, beautiful masterpiece is in the hands of several strangers all at once, and they all promise to give you detailed, honest feedback.

Dear God. Honest. Feedback.

The two most terrifying words in the writer's vocabulary.

These characters that you have created, blossoming over the pages, infused with parts of yourself. They suddenly become targets. And that marvellous twist you thought you were so clever to lace in, predictable? And heaven help you if you put a joke in there too!

Suffice to say, the editing process is a terrifying ordeal of monumental magnitude, which can only compare to the first school parents evening for your budding prodigy.

Now, a rational writer will think to themselves that this is a self-improvement exercise. They will relish in making all of those little tweaks. The volatile writer will suppress their fury at receiving criticism. Because how dare they? and what would they know? and can they not see my latent genius?!?

Most writers, however, will bite down on their trembling nails, and wait for the blow to fall....

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