Go public with your writing

If you’re the only one who knows that you’re writing something, there’s nothing to motivate you to keep going. Even if it’s just your immediate family, they’re going to be forgiving, and are probably not going to hassle you if you fall behind, or give up altogether. I’m in the unenviable position of having everyone in my family and all of my friends and all of my family’s friends know what I do for a “living” (it’s in quotes because Lord knows I make no money from it) so that every time I have a conversation with a distant cousin, or some guy my mom used to work with, I’m asked “how’s that writing coming?” And as annoying as it is to have to answer that question, because 90% of the time it’s NOT coming along, it keeps me moving because the next time that person asks, I like to have something different to say.

Fear of public shame is a powerful motivator. And in a business where things are tough and it’s easy to cry Uncle, going public might be the extra thing that helps you to keep moving forward.

[Image from: http://frenchyme.blogspot.com/]


13 thoughts on “Go public with your writing

  1. timkeen40 says:

    I can relate. I am in my forties and am just now making a serious push to get into the business. It is easy to sit back, write a story, and tell yourself how wonderful it is, then never let anyone see it. But when you put it out, then work the blogsites like mad to look at it, you get what you asked for. The comments happen.
    Will they be postive comments? Or will they be not so positive comments?
    Every time there is a new, that little pang of self doubt rules. It might only be there for a split second, but what a powerful split second it is.


  2. Tracey says:

    Thanks for posting, Tim. You make a great point as well, that showing your writing to people is important too. It’s definitely part of going public as a writer. And getting feedback is invaluable as well for helping you to hone your craft.

    Good luck to you!

  3. transplantednorth says:

    thanks for posting this. Most people I know think I’m brave for “putting myself out there” or others are trying to keep a “low profile” or are “careful” of what they say. But if you want to be a recognized, successful writer, you HAVE to put yourself out there, otherwise no one will read you.

    That is why I am happy I started blogging. All these years (I’m also in my 40’s) I wanted to write but was afraid it was no good, or afraid of rejection. Blogging has freed me and has reenergized my writing, perhaps the first time since college. I hope that someday, will turn some of my blog posts into magazine articles. Blogging has certainly started the writing juices flowing.

  4. SAS Fiction Girl says:

    I use the “going public” trick to make myself do all kinds of things because I know I’ll be asked about it later. So I tell people I’m going to volunteer at the zoo/travel to Sicily/join the Board of a non-profit service org, because otherwise I leave myself the chance to wimp out. After a little prodding from my Writers Group friends, I started my fiction blog. Others in the group say they are inspired to start their own blogs. I suppose it’s up to me now to push them to do it. 🙂
    I’m enjoying reading through your posts, btw. Discovered you on Freshly Pressed. -Jen

  5. suhei says:

    Nice advice but it has never helped me. Even posting on websites doesn’t get me any feedback. I suppose it works for some writers though.

  6. Tracey says:

    @transplantednorth: the thing is, if you want to be published, you need practice and you need to show your work. I think it’s very wise of you to start a blog, and also wise for you to think about making them into money-making articles in the future.

    @SAS Fiction Girl: Going public really does push you to follow through with your own ideas. I’m glad it’s working for you.

    @suhei: It takes a while before you start to get feedback. I’ve felt like giving up on blogging and posting many times myself. But it does (slowly) get better. I hope you keep at it.

  7. Cindy says:

    Hmm.. thanks so much for posting that! Seems like I blog, stop, blog again and stop again. Always reluctant to post it on on facebook for the ‘fear factor’. I need to…SNAP OUT OF IT. Thanks for the gentle nudge.

  8. Tracey says:

    Cindy, I think we all fall victim to our own fear. A week ago I was considering ending this blog. Sometimes it’s good to keep pushing through. And if you like it, then it’s worth it anyway.

    Thanks for stopping by.

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