Monday, March 21, 2011

Writing: The Urge to Share

I won't attempt to speak for all writers when I say I personally feel compelled to share my writing with the people I know. This has often made me feel like I'm scrambling for attention from people who have better things to do with their time. Unfortunately, many of those individuals are my friends and family members.

I must admit... I experience great inner turmoil over this subject. On one hand, we live in an age of shallow interconnections via social networks. It's not that people don't read anymore, it's just the content that has changed. Many of us now spend our days sifting through texts and status updates. There are so many demands on our time that it just sort of slips away. I get it, I'm not shielded from the costs of staying in the loop these days. Yet, you can condense the truth down to one primary notion. My writing was a lower priority.

A notable side effect of the way these interactions play out is a deep sense of failure on my part. Still, it surprises me that I repeat the effort without pause every time I feel like I've created something worthwhile. I guess that's a big part of my writing. Once I have a piece to a stage where I feel proud of writing it, it seems senseless not to share it. Most of us write for more than our own benefit, that's a given. Self satisfaction is a big part of it, no doubt, but without an audience there isn't much of a point. At least that's my view.

Does that reflect poorly on my relationships, or is it the quality of my writing? I'm trying to work on the whole pride and vanity thing, yet I would still assess myself as a fair decent writer. Sure, there's always room for personal growth and improvement, but I wouldn't classify my writing as unreadable or distasteful. I obviously haven't given up writing entirely, so why do I let it bother me? Or better yet, why do I keep going down that road? Perhaps I'm seeking approval from a group of people who, as good as their intentions may be, just aren't at a place where they can dedicate that kind of time. Not everyone has the same desire to sit down and read, even if they have a fair level of assurance they will enjoy the story.

That's it! I've made up my mind. I won't stop sharing my stories, but I'll be certain to only extend the offer once. If it isn't readily accepted -- that's okay. Over time I'm sure the people who enjoy reading the things I write will present themselves, and no hard feelings towards the those who just can't find the time. Sounds good, yet easier said than done. I guess it comes down to recognizing the effort to remind folks to read my stuff as wasted energy that could be put into working on my next project. I suppose that might sound harsh to any of those individuals who just didn't get around to reading my work, but perhaps even they can agree that feeling ignored isn't a catalyst for further improvement. There comes a time when you've just got to move on. It's sad, but it's life. The only other alternative is for me to let those negative feelings eat at me. It's so much better to just dismiss them, let go, and keep plowing forward. My time is important too.

How about you? Have you run into a situation where you felt an urge to share your work with someone who was too busy or seemed less than enthused to take you up on your offer? It's easy to say that we should develop a thicker skin, were you successful?
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