Writing is a personal affair, which is a strange thing to say about something you publicly share. But ask the writer, how easy is it to show what you have written? How long did your work hide away, unacknowledged, before it got to be viewed by even a single, trusted individual?
It’s extremely hard to bring writing out into the light of day. Why?
Because the writing is a piece of the author.
Even if we don’t recognize it formally, everything we write ties into us. Some aspects of our private lives slip through onto that page and are now on display. It could be something we’ve experienced or something we believe. It might be our dreams or fears or perhaps our greatest aspiration. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was suspected of creating the amazing Sherlock Holmes as a wishlist for himself, although he was also based on someone Sir Arthur knew.
I do not often use people I know as inspiration for characters (although Cuuks from a novella of mine is a notable exception). For me, the characters are usually aspects of myself brought to extremes. Gensiana is my optimism. Cairon is my introverted-ness. Loni is my lusting side. Arnika is the loving aspect of a wife. Lania is my warrior. Akara is my faith.
All of the characters become far more than just one thing, but they were born of me and my life. It’s my heart and soul lovingly arranged on the page. I wish there was a glass case for them to go into so they won’t get dirtied or damaged from being out, but they’re out there, exposed in my writing.
It’s hard to share what you write.
This is why it’s so important to support each other as writers. We’re vulnerable, especially as we start out. A harsh word can break a blooming author. Over time, our skins thicken and criticisms have less pain, more gain. But until then, treat your budding authors as if they are orchids: Be delicate, lest they wilt. Give them just the right amount of food and water to grow and improve.
D. Lambert, author
Fantasy novels that entice, inspire, and entertain.