One of the most insidious ways to hamstring yourself on the way to publishing your first novel is to be overly cautious about sticking your head out of your shell. When you hide your writing until you’re “ready,” nine times out of ten, it means you’re hiding from reader critique.
Sorry I had to call it out like that, but sometimes it’s hard to face the truth: your manuscript suffers when you hide it from readers.
I say this to you as someone who’s been slapping slabs of writing onto the sacrificial altar of editorial review for decades now. It’s not that I don’t get what you’re feeling; it’s that I’ve had years and years to get used to the idea that my words aren’t me. They’re not a summation of what I can do—they’re one thing I’ve chosen to do. And by the time those words have hit the…
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