So, I have a friend…well, I have a lot of friends, but I’m speaking of a specific one. I met this friend in 2009 on a forum for moms. Specifically a forum for moms who were also Harry Potter fans (therefore the best kind). In this forum, she was known as Philly, so that’s what we’ll call her here as well.
I made two very good friends in this particular forum — one of which encouraged me to write (who deserves an entire post of her own), and one who read my stories.
Philly was my very first reader.
And I realized something last week: Philly is not only my very first reader, but the only person in the whole wide world who has read everything I’ve written to completion. And she continues to ask for more, which is the greatest compliment a writer could ever receive.
I’ve always been hesitant about sharing my work with people. Now, of course I share it with crit partners, but that’s not what I mean. Crit partners are there to help you tear it down and build something stronger and better. I’m talking about people reading just for the enjoyment of reading. As if it were a real book out there on shelves.
Something I didn’t realize until Friday was how valuable that is. Because when I got a message from Philly asking to read my next book…I can’t even begin to tell you the boost it gave my confidence. And right when I needed it most — as I’m drafting yet another story that I hope to someday share.
So, I want to encourage you all to find someone you trust and share some of your work with them. Just let them read it without any expectation of feedback. Because in the end, that’s the point of all of this. And it’s more rewarding than you might think.
I also want to thank Philly from the bottom of my heart for being such a supportive friend, and for always believing in me. <3
From Wiki Commons, by Flickr user vistamommy