Scarred of my writing group.

I’ve been attending a writers group for most of the year. I generally find it very useful. They are very encouraging group and it’s always great to hear different work, most of it better than mine. However, each moth I have a rising sense of terror every time I go, they have been suggesting I might like to share some of my book.

The thought of reading even a small bit of my book out loud to a group of strangers I find quite terrifying. It’s not that they aren’t nice, none of them would be horrible about it but, I’m scarred of being dammed by faint praise. I’m the only one who writes fantasy fiction so I’m at a disadvantage to start with. (edit; just found out this isn’t true)

Now I know this is silly as I eventually must publish my book and some people are bound to hate it and say hurtful things. I have sent my current draft off to bestselling author friend and she can give quite brutal feedback. But at least I can read that in private I’m not sure I’m ready to face criticism in the flesh just yet. I think I’ll delay it at least another meeting, so more avoiding eye contact when volunteers are asked for!



13 thoughts on “Scarred of my writing group.

  1. It is not silly at all, sharing your work for the first time with strangers is terrifying! But the reality is nowhere near as bad as you expect. No doubt your group will be kind in their feedback and it will probably be very useful. Make sure you don’t fall into the trap of ‘writing by committee’. As you say, not everyone will like your work and trying to take on ALL feedback to please everyone will only result in a hotch-potch of work that you don’t recognise as your own. And what’s to say they won’t love it? Good luck!

    Liked by 7 people

  2. I write Fantasy fiction too,. Eric. Some is historically based but some is straight Fantasy. But don’t worry, I’ll be as horrible as I can about your book.

    Mind at rest?

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I’d find it easier to read to a group of ‘strangers’, than to all of my (physical) friends…. Why? Because I would worry that my friends would not be interested at all, give crazy feedback (like Lucy wrote) or just think I’m a failure 😉
    Kinda why none of my physical friends are subscribed to my blog. They all know I blog, but I only talk about it when they bring it up.
    Remember… feedback is like butts. Everyone has one!
    Take advantage of your captive audience, I’d say. You’re all there for the same reason and you’ll have to sit and comment on Susie’s sexy romance book… might as well get some feedback on yours!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Well she is an ex-teacher after all Eric 😉 Ha! She will enjoy reading it I’m sure and the feedback will be firm but fair…. you should see how critical she is of her own work!! Hope you build the confidence to share your story soon – until then eyes down 👀 and deflect!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Heya Eric!

    I understand your fear. It’s really common – being afraid of being judged, and it can be extra hard to deal with when you know the people in your group don’t read or write the same sort of thing you do.

    My suggestion to you: you should set a date in early next year where you HAVE to share a small paragraph or two with them. If you’d like to feel a little more comfortable with their inbound suggestions, ask them a specific question about the piece before you share, and say that’s the area you’re interested in for feedback. For example:

    “Today, I’m looking for specific feedback. This is a scene of [your story name] which is about [character], [conflict] and [character’s stakes]. My question: can you visualise what I’m reading?”


    “Does [character’s] reactions seem believable to you? She’s just [what she’s reacting to if you don’t read that bit].”

    You were brave enough to write this post. You can do it 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. It’s a valid fear, but better some feedback than none at all. And better in a small group than for the whole world to see.

    Also headsup, you have a typo in your header; and in the body, said quiet instead of quite. If you need help editing your book to polish it up, let me know. 😉


  7. Fortune favours the brave, Eric. Once you publish it it’s out of your control, so better to get friendly critiques in advance from us friendly lot in your group! Our imaginations can run riot (useful in a fiction writer) but the reality is usually far less terrifying. I did it and found the feedback very helpful. I didn’t agree with everything suggested but as the writer it’s my (and your) prerogative to use these or not. Also, having a fantasy story to read will make a refreshing change!

    Liked by 1 person

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