JB's Aphotic Scriptorium

...My writing sanctuary...

I said before in my "On Writing: Aspiring Writers..." post that I would come back to this, and today's the day.
So I have no personal support in writing whatsoever. No one knows that I'm writing a book, or everything that goes along with it: writing forums, searching the Internet for articles and good web pages, buying many reference books, keeping a "Writing Journal", and my general involvement in the world of writing.
I'm not going to lie; it was not easy.
I felt like on my own, I couldn't achieve anything, and certainly not something of this magnitude. At first, the reason why I didn't tell anyone because I knew they would tell me that I flat-out couldn't do it. Call it the rebel in me, but I decided that I would prove them wrong and try my hand at it.
That stage in my writing wore off pretty quickly, and soon I had bigger worries then people telling me I couldn't do it. I was afraid that if I told them, they would question me as to why I was doing it, and judge me about it. Things like:
-Why are you doing your story on that?
You should do it this way.
-It doesn't make sense. Do it like this.
-No offense, that is a really stupid idea.
And I think you get it.
I had (and still do have) a very clear idea of where my story is going (just call me "uber organized"), and I was petrified that people were going to change my story.
And I don't mean sneak on to my computer at night and write it themselves, I mean pressuring me into changing it.
Let's face it, I have never done this before, and I want to know that I'm doing a good job and doing it right. If someone came in and said one of the comments I listed above, it would eat away at me until I changed it to exactly what they wanted. Which is exactly what I don't want.
The story I'm writing is for me, and only me. Yes, the dream is to get it published, but right now, I have an audience of one, and that one is the only person that counts. I don't want to change my story into something I don't like, and didn't originally want.
So it was just another reason to keep it to myself.
Then I got to the point where I thought "Okay, you've gotten really far, and your story is looking fairly good, so tell just one person. This way you can get another opinion than your own. Maybe your story will turn out better with some criticism, and you can get someone to edit after you have edited.".
Fairly good argument, really.
If you haven't already guessed, I am territorial about my book to an extreme. So I needed to find someone that I wouldn't have a panic attack even thinking about giving them my book.
At first I thought of my family. That way I didn't have to email my story, which basically would be putting it online (*shudders*), and they could just read it off of the computer. Those were the pros. But it didn't make sense for a couple reason to have them read it. One was because my family is not big on reading. Yes, they do read occasionally, things like magazines, or work related things, but not novels. Also, they weren't my target audience, and are not interested in the genre I'm working in. It didn't make sense because there opinion wasn't one that really counted.
So family was out. What about friends? I had one friend in mind specifically, so I went the hypothetical route, and thought of what would happen if I did give her my book to read/critique/edit. Well, first I had would have to get it to her. Email was out, because I refuse to put my work over the Internet and have who-knows-what happen to it. So that left giving her my printed versions (After I finish a chapter I computer edit, than print it out and edit/leave comments for further revision). What if she lost it? And someone found it? What if?
What if, What if, What if...
So many of these ran through my head, a panic attack was imminent (the one thing I was trying to avoid in this whole process).
I eventually can to terms that I just can't let anyone know; at least not until I'm finished my first draft.
So know let's relate this to you. Ask these questions and be honest.
-Do you think that people will tell you you can't do it?
-Do you think people will judge you?
-Are you writing for yourself? And if yes, do you think telling other people will change that? (if no you should seriously pull back and reassess your motivations)
-Do you want someone elses ideas, maybe to help you see a different perspective?
-Do you think that having someone cheer you on will be beneficial to you?
-Do you know someone that is in your target audience, and/or likes your genre?
-Would you be comfortable telling someone?
Those questions should lead you into the right direction.
Now, I'm not saying that support is bad. It isn't at all! I'm sure that having someone there to cheer you on is wonderful , especially when things get tough and you need some encouragement.
All I am saying is that it isn't right for me, and that you need to think about everything pertaining to telling someone about your writing. Don't be flippant about who you give it out too, your work is valuable, and you need to be able to trust it with someone that you can trust, if that is the way you want to go. The way I chose was to keep it to myself until the first draft is done. You will probably chose something different because you are a completely different person. But please, be careful about who you give it too, and remember; what you are doing is astounding, it really is, and some people will no doubt be jealous of what you are accomplishing.

Okay, what about the online resources out there, like forums, chat rooms etc.? My advice; again, be careful, but there are many writing resources online. I won't list any here, because I don't want to premote sites that might not be reliable, and have your work be stolen, or posted on the Internet for everyone to see (I do have some that I have looked into, and can help if you ask directly and understand I'm not responsible if you post things on the sites).
There is one thing I can help you with, though, and in this way you have more freedom in what you choose. On Google click the "more" button, go to the "Directory", click "Arts", than go to "Writer's Resources". On the page there should be many links in which you can define your search. They have thing like agents, poetry, organizations, non-fiction, song-writing, young writers, publishers, publishing, writing exercises, chat rooms and forums, along with many others. They have gone through and picked out some of the better sites, and have given them to you.
I hope that that helps you.
Remember, I'm here too and am not going to ask you about the specifics of your writing, so feel free to ask me about whatever. As I am finishing my first draft {*throws confetti*}, I'll keep you updated on my support status and what I've learned along the way (hopefully it will help you too).
Happy Writing!



Wow, JB we are like of the one mind, i feel the exact same. i started a book and wrote the prologue and made the mistake of showing it to someone and it exploded in my face. i know exactly what you mean by comments eating away at you!! i totally commisorate and empathise!

I love this, JB. I have always wanted to write... it feels so daunting, though. You are wonderful! I feel inpired.

i totally agree with you im been writeing a book too im writeing like mad women lol... i feel the same way os im doing the same thing im writeing without my family knowing well my brother read it he said it ok os im keeping it to my self....

elizabeth / bessie

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About this blog

This blog is devoted to the art of writing. It is here where I will post about my writing life and my novels, as well as give advice to other aspiring novelists. Remember to start with "On Writing: Aspiring Writers..." then work your way up.
Enjoy :D