Sharing my creative writing with others is a challenge to say the least.
The other day I was trying to pick a story to send to two strangers for their feedback. I had the hardest time emailing a copy of my work to them.
There's something personal about openly sharing your stories with someone else. To an extent, some of my blog posts are personal, and I don't have a problem posting those for the world to see. With creative writing however, I feel as though I'm exposing more of myself.
As I've said, these two are strangers. I think I'd be more comfortable with sharing if I knew them longer, trusted them more. I'm sure they're wonderful human beings. It's still tough to open up and feel vulnerable in front of people you hardly know.
If I had a penny for every times I've said I wanted to get better, I'd be one wealthy woman. Even though I do hope to improve, I'm not the best at asking for feedback. Ditto for applying any feedback I receive.
I'm stubborn. Worse, I have a gigantic ego that loves to get in the way. On a good day, I'm able to shove it aside for the sake of my art.
Every time I've put my art first before my ego, the former benefits greatly.
I say the following not to brag, but to make it clear that I had a different, unusual path when I started out as a writer and blogger. I found success early on in both endeavours. In some ways, I was even more successful a few years ago than I have been recently.
So, for many reasons, my ego was inflated in high school. A part of me thought I always knew what was best, what was right.
Of course, that's not always the case.
Over time, my ego has taken a good beating.
I'm at a point now where I feel confident, not cocky in my abilities. After all, I've come a long way, but I still have plenty of room for improvement.
I can identify strengths and weaknesses in my own work. But having an outside perspective point out certain problems can make all the difference.
What I want to say ultimately boils down to these points:
Sharing your writing with strangers isn't easy. It can be a vulnerable experience. That's okay, though. So long as you don't let your ego stop you from improving your art in every way possible. And sometimes the best thing you can do is to put your ego aside and listen to others.
I think I've reaffirmed what I knew all along. Egos suck.