Don’t Let Others Ruin Your Writing Career!

By on October 18, 2019

Writing a novel is a long journey and one that is fraught with obstacles. Some of these are self-imposed, and others are somewhat inevitable. One such hurdle is deciding when your work is ready to share with others. This is a critical decision that some writers don't give as much thought to as perhaps they should. Too late and you might find it difficult to accept criticism or suggestions, too early and you could end up feeling crushed, confused, and doubtful as to whether you should continue. Sharing your work from others, if not done with consideration and forethought, could end up ruining your writing career. Let's explore the reasons why:

Suggestions can destroy your story

Even the most well-meaning suggestions can send you into a state of turmoil. If you start to try and take on board every piece of criticism before you've even finished your first draft, your story could be pulled to pieces before you know it. While it might be helpful to catch an unworkable idea early on, you won't know how your story pans out until you've got it written down in its entirety first of all. Asking for advice before this point could be detrimental and leave you fretting and bogged down in incorporating suggestions and changes that could actually end up ruining your story altogether.

Other writers don't count as publishers

Remember, whoever you share your work with, unless it's a publisher who has offered you a contract, their opinion should be one you can take or leave. Writing is exceptionally subjective, and just because one person, however much you respect their views and admire their talents, thinks you should do such and such, it doesn't mean this is the right thing to do, or that it will make your work any more publishable as a result. 

Writing groups can be harsh

If you join a writing group or share your work with an online forum, you might find the criticism a little too, well, critical. In fact, anyone who isn't your close friends or your mum is likely to give you some feedback that you might not want to hear. If you are going to let others read your writing, prepare yourself, get your thickest skin on, and be sure that you can come out of it the other side, still able to continue finishing your book. 

Top tips for sharing your work with others

Get your first draft done first

Ask for specifics

Stay true to yourself

Prepare for criticism

Take it or leave it

In Stephen King's memoirs, he shares some helpful advice he received during his writing career:

"Write with the door closed. Rewrite with the door open."

Try to remember this when you are going through the writing journey, and only share your work when you feel genuinely ready to do so. Otherwise, if you expose it too soon, you could end up getting bogged down trying to write the perfect story for your critics, and end up losing your formerly brilliant and well-thought-out idea, shaking your confidence and ruining your writing career altogether. 

bethany cadman
Bethany Cadman - bethanycadman.co.uk

About Bethany Cadman

Bethany Cadman is an author and freelance writer. Her highly anticipated debut novel 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers' is available on Amazon as both an eBook and a paperback. You can find it here - http://tinyurl.com/z47t8qf

One Comment

  1. Yabzai

    October 28, 2019 at 8:46 am

    ”In fact, anyone who isn’t your close friends or your mum is likely to give you some feedback that you might not want to hear. If you are going to let others read your writing, prepare yourself, get your thickest skin on, and be sure that you can come out of it the other side, still able to continue finishing your book” – thanks Bethany

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