Do You Have Angst?: On Writing: The Benefits of Sharing

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

On Writing: The Benefits of Sharing

The best decision I ever made when writing Angst was to share.  I had finished about half the book, further than I had gotten with any other writing project.  I felt good about what I had accomplished, but was insecure as to whether or not anyone would enjoy the story as much as I wanted them to.  I was about ready to take one of those really long breaks that some people call burnout, when I decided to share the first handful of chapters.  My wife was kind enough to edit them before sending so it didn't look like a 1st grade writing assignment, and I doled them out to some nearest and dearest that I knew enjoyed fantasy.

I purposefully gave friends chapters that ended with a mini cliff hanger.  I wanted them to ask for more, call it egotistical, but it worked.  The first day was disappointing.  My closest friends couldn't stop their entire lives, take a day off work, or tell their families to piss off so that they could make me feel better about my writing?  What the heck?  After a very long couple of days, they started sharing feedback.  They seemed really excited, enough so that it felt genuine and not like, "oh, you're my friend so here is a free pat on the back."  Handing out chapters that ended in mini cliff hangers, and feeding off of the want for more, really drove me to finish the first book.

Now I'm starting on Angst 2 (working title by the way), and I find that I'm enjoying a similar trend.  New friends on twitter, and old friends through facebook, are reading the first book.  The feedback and enthusiasm is inspiring, and the main reasons I'm making such good progress on Angst 2.  My sincere thanks to everyone who has read Angst and commented on my first book.  I look forward to sharing more.

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