• Shea Robinson

Writing Tip: kNOw your worth

Updated: Dec 29, 2020

Maybe you need to hear this, maybe you don’t. But I learned this the hard way and after the heck of year we’ve had, I’d like to save you the trouble. Everyone loves having an author friend. Your friends and your family really do want to read your book/anthology. They think you’re great and they want to see what you’ve created. They really do. But the hard truth is that they won’t make the time. There are too many priorities that have their attention. They already feel that there is too little time in the day, and so taking those few precious quiet moments to read your work is asking too much. You might think, “But they asked me to read it!” I know. That’s what makes this truth sticky. It sits in your palms like melted honey. Many people will ask. Many people will think they want to read it. You will be eager to get your story into people’s hands by whatever means necessary. I've been the dejected author and the reader who has it on the bottom of her to-do list to, and let me tell you, both are uncomfortable places you don’t want to be. So take caution and tread carefully when it comes to providing people access to your treasure, your baby, your passion, the part of you demanding to be heard.

Follow these tips for success.

1. Only give your book to those that are worthy. Those you know have the time and energy to handle your book with care. Those who have compassion for what it took to write and will give you considerate feedback.

2. Know what kind of readers you’re looking for. Are they beta readers for an early draft to help you spot the holes in your story? Are they editors? Are they readers to boost your confidence?

3. Come to an agreed upon timeline. Are they a slow reader so need 6-8 months to complete it? Are they a reader who needs an early deadline so it doesn’t get forgotten about?

4. Don’t make assumptions. Be clear about your expectations. Avoid the situation where your loved ones not reading your work creates a judgement that you and your writing are not worthy.

5. Don't be afraid to say no. This may be the hardest one. But setting boundaries is practicing self care and there should be people who don't deserve access, and that's okay. There are many polite ways to say no, such as, "I'm sorry. I'm not giving my book out until publication."

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