Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The perks of exposing yourself

While we can all agree that exposing oneself can in most cases be considered a very big no-no.  In this particular case, I believe it to be highly appropriate to let go and just let it all hang out. 

Case in point...
Good Exposure: (Awesomeness!)

Not-So-Good Exposure: (Well, I guess this all depends on who you are.)

As writers we know that at some point if we hope to achieve any sort of success or gain any acknowledgment for the work that we do, we ultimately have to take a deep fortifying breath, let go, and then hit that "send" button.  Now while this may clearly comes more easy to some, I am definitely part of that "other" group who always approaches this point of the process with a bit of trepidation.  And who, due to my sporadic spurts of genius, am able to see this for what it is, a necessary evil in a writer's life.  

Okay, so I'm being a bit dramatic with the whole "evil" thing, but you get my point.

Because at times I honestly do feel like not only am exposing my work (something I love and prize to death) but am in some ways also exposing a very sensitive and vulnerable part of my physical body.  Which is a freakin' scary thought people, and as I said, more so for some than others.  And I will also admit (my dirty little shame) that there are still times when I find myself experiencing moments of brief panic just before I hit the "Publish Post" for my blog.  And yes, even for this one.  

But luckily, with time and ultimately just pushing myself to do it, along with lots of great support, it's gradually become easier.  And despite my being one of those people who sometimes would rather die than expose myself to the criticism or possible disappointment my work could bring to others, I also know that my ambition and neurotic drive to achieve my dreams are a lot stronger than any possible (and highly likely) criticism I am sure to receive.

And so I present to you my list of the "Top 7 Reasons Why Exposure Is Good": *WARNING: I'm terrible at making lists*

1. Sometimes you just need to let things air out so they'll settle more naturally...including your writing.
2. Positive feedback can bring about some pretty spectacular results.  No really, it can!
3. You're now that much closer to reaching your goal...HURRAY!!!
4. It's one more thing you can check off your to-do list. 
5. It's one less thing you have to stare at on your to-do list.
6. It's great for weight loss, since you'll more than likely end up "chucking" anything you (binge) eat.
7. And lastly, because (in even my experience) no matter how scary it may seem, in the end, you'll more than likely get more out of it than you ever put in.

And now that I've gotten all this off my chest, it's your turn.  What have you found to be the benefits of letting go and sharing your work (whatever that may be) with others? 

Show me your stuff people!

Oh, and one other thing...

Happy Writing & Happy Reading!


  1. It's definitely worth sharing, gaining exposure. Positive feedback is a wonderful motivator, making us want to write more (at least for me). Even if the feedback isn't what we expect, it's a step in the right direction. Knowing something doesn't work provides an opportunity to make it better! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Also, it helps toughen you up for the next time! (in theory).

  3. From someone who regularly experiences panic before hitting 'return' (can you say tweet?), I understand completely how you feel! And putting my book out in the world was definitely the ultimate return button!

    Just before I had my first child, I went to a 'baby 101' class provided by the hospital for first-time parents. To this day, I still remember something the instructor told us: "Raising your child will bring you to your highest-highs, but also your lowest-lows." This is exactly how I feel about publishing my first book. The positive feedback and satisfaction I've received from doing it has been tremendous. However, there is no sugar coating the fact that receiving a negative review totally sucks. It's never easy hearing that your story (something you intended to be entertaining and give pleasure) has disappointed somebody. That said, the (hopefully constructive) criticism plays a crucial part in growing as an author. Although I'm happy to say that a majority of my reviews have been positive, the critiques I've received have motivated me to hone my skills, learn from my mistakes and produce a kick-ass sequel. As to the reviewers who poop all over my book because it wasn't their cup of tea...well, I do my best to remember that I'm never going to please everyone no matter how hard I try and not take their comments too much to heart. Sometimes this is easier said than done. ;-)

  4. I remember publishing my first book and thinking,"I can't wait for people to read MY BOOK." A few days later (it may have been only hours or seconds later, actually) I was frozen with fear at the very thought of people reading MY BOOK.
    When it began to win awards, the pride was back. When a less-than-enthusiastic review came in, I was plunged back into the icy waters of self-doubt. It's all part of the ongoing angst that being a writer provides.
    Judgement is something we all fear, but never forget that at least we, all of us, have had the courage to get our stuff out there, to boldly post where no man has - (oh wait, that, or some version thereof, has been used somewhere before...)
    LOVE your blog, Blaire!

  5. Thank you ladies so much for sharing your thoughts and experiences with me. It really is encouraging to me knowing that others have walked through and survived the trenches I'm currently journeying through. So very glad to be part of such a great group of people. :)