You would think that this one is a no-brainer but it's not. It took me a long time to share my story(ies) with people and as I said last week a lot of that was due to self-doubt but that wasn't my only obstacle. When I first started writing, I didn't share my stories with anyone at all. I wrote in notebooks and on any piece of paper I was given but I kept them to myself thinking they would never be finished. People would ask what I was doing, I'd snap the notebook closed or stuff the page in a pocket and say, "nothing," in a barely audible voice.
Fast forward about two years later and I entered my first short story in a creative arts contest put together by a few local churches. I won first place but it took me sharing it with two other people before I even thought about entering it at all. They both gave me the confidence to do it and I'm so glad I did because that was my push in the right direction.
Another Three years later, I was talking to a few more friends about my stories, Some of which offered to help me by reading and editing my stories. That was another push towards what I really want, which is to be a full-time author. I enjoy writing and do it every day, but if I never share my stories with anyone, I won't know if they're any good.
Sharing is a big part of what writers do for their stories and it catapulted me out of the shell in which I was so desperately stuck. I still have a long way to go in sharing and on my writing journey. I don't really even have beta-readers yet. I'm still editing the rough drafts but soon I'll be ready to show my work to Betas and start the ball rolling.
One last thought, when you share your story, always share with at least two people. One should be a friend that will give you an honest opinion and the other needs to be a teacher or a critic someone who will scrutinize your story for any flaws and plot holes instead of patting you on the back and saying "good job." Also, don't give them the full manuscript. Give them one chapter at a time, that way they don't have a 200+ pages manuscript they have to look over and if they don't like it or it's not their style, you can find someone else to critique and encourage you.
Well, that's all for today. I'm going to get back to enjoying my last full day of Vacation. I hope you enjoyed this week's What Writers Do For Their Stories. Now, go be awesome.