One of the best things about writing more and getting your stuff out there is that you get used to people reading what you write. When I published my first book I was actually embarrassed that I had written it, not because I thought it was a bad piece of writing but because I was worried that people would think my sci- fi/ fantasy was silly and childish. It took all my courage to post about my first book on Facebook but maybe this time it won’t be so hard because I’ve already had to tell people about my ‘secret’ hobby once!
In a way, I still feel nervous about telling people that I write fiction but my feelings about non- fiction have completely turned around. At first when I started writing this blog I didn’t tell anyone but after a while I started to advertise new blog posts on Twitter and felt elated when I saw that people were reading what I had written. Now I actively try to get people to read my pieces and have started putting things in more places after I’ve had good feedback about my articles.
I still have a long way to go with the fiction side though. I’ve begun discussing my stories with my parents more which is something I never did in the past but discussing it with friends remains at a low level. This is mainly because I’m still scared of what they will think of the book despite hearing their enthusiasm about getting to read it when it’s finished.
I suppose all this comes from the way that I take criticism. Over the past two years I’ve got a lot better at taking constrictive criticism about my work and have finally learnt that it’s another important way to get my writing to a higher standard. I no longer take what people say about my writing personally because if something doesn’t sound right then I’d rather get an opportunity to correct it before it goes anywhere! What I’m always worried about though, is that the whole book is terrible and that’s possibly a lack of self- belief on my part! Looking back at my first book though, this one is a definite improvement; reading and writing constantly for over a year and a half since publishing it has significantly improved my content! My dad also did a bit of research on what make a good story and wrote a short book about it to summarise what he found. After being sceptical about all these structures that he found, it has helped me to plan my writing better and get a more interesting outcome.
It’s only relatively recently that I’ve known that my dad likes to write stories as well as me and a few years ago we used to write a blog where we posted short stories (1000 words) on a regular basis and then review each other’s work. Unfortunately, we don’t write on the site very much anymore because of other commitments and I never really told many people about it because I was worried about them thinking it was a silly idea. In reality if the people I tell are true friends they’ll be supportive about what I like doing and not make fun of me!
Writing lots of short stories did help me to develop my whole writing style because at the end of the day, practice makes perfect! It wasn’t just good for writing more fiction but has also helped me to structure my non- fiction articles better so that I can communicate more effectively! The initial snail- coming- out- of- the- shell moment when I confessed that there’s more to my life than my education and Giant Microbes was hard but it was worth it because I can build on that and increase my confidence to start discussing something I love!