Why You Need to Keep Sharing Your Writing (Even if You Aren’t Making a Living)
I have to confess something to you. When I first started out, I was afraid to share my writing. I convinced myself that I didn’t need to blog or submit my stories. I could just quietly work on my writing and show no one until I had a perfect novel written. But I finally decided to submit one short story to a literary journal, and everything changed.
That acceptance led to other submissions, speaking openly about my writing, and starting a blog with my sister. Even now, I still have moments of doubt where I need a reminder of the reasons to keep putting my writing out there, even though I’m not at the point of making a living from it. And we’re here to remind you of why you should keep going too!
We know it can be difficult to share your writing, especially on large platforms, but every person who leaves a comment means they took the time to read your story, and it impacted them enough to tell you! Every single comment, kind word, and encouragement goes such a long way. It’s a confidence booster, it makes you feel like your writing is worth something; and that’s just it. It is! Whether it’s monetary or not, your stories, your words mean something to people.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve felt like my writing wasn’t the best, or lacked in some areas. Then I see a notification pop up, I click on it and there is a comment on how much someone enjoyed my story, and what they liked about it. Reading these genuinely brings tears to my eyes more often than not, because someone out there enjoyed what I wrote! It’s an incredible feeling that you can only get if you continue to write, and continue to put your work out there.
That confident boost is enough to keep me writing, and honestly gives me validity that my writing is worth the time I put into it. Confidence in your writing can inspire you to write more, and writing more means learning and growing as a writer, as well as exposure for your writing the more you post! In turn, take the time to read other author’s work, and show them the same kindness that has helped you. Being a part of a writing community is one of the greatest decisions we have made for our writing!
Publishing your writing online is a great way to get accountability, if you are struggling to stick to a writing schedule. Knowing there are readers out there waiting for our next story is a big motivator for me. There are definitely hard weeks where I wouldn’t have written, if not for this accountability. Since we started posting our writing online, I’ve written much more often.
Sticking to a schedule is key when you want to build up a writing habit, and publishing your writing on a regular basis engrains that schedule into your mind. We post weekly, and every week no matter how busy my life gets, I always find time to sit and write, check on the blog, and at the very least (if it’s Clever’s turn for a story) plan out what either our next post or the next story will be about. I have never written more in my life than when we started publishing our work!
You will grow as a writer if you write regularly. A common piece of writing advice is to practice at it. Looking at our stories when we first started posting versus now, I can see how much both of our writing has improved. Putting our writing out there has allowed us to get feedback, and see what is working well.
You can also use your blog or writing platform as a way to experiment with different styles and genres. Trying different things might work out better than you expect, and sharing these experiments will tell you what your readers like. My first time writing a horror story, I was nervous that people wouldn’t like it. It turned out that story got the best reaction out of any I had written at the time! It encouraged me to be more vulnerable in my writing, and I have written more horror and dark fantasy since then. I wouldn’t have gotten this knowledge and experience, if I hadn’t put my writing out there.
One of the most surprising and rewarding parts of starting our blog and joining Medium has been meeting new writers. I enjoy reading their stories, commenting on each other’s writing, and just getting to know one another. We have built some great connections with amazing writers like:
Ynes Freeman at Balance of Seven – Balance of Seven is an amazing small press, who gave me my first publishing opportunity and helped me make my first writer friends. Balance of Seven is super supportive of all their writers, and the team is great to work with. Not to mention, they have some amazing books! I have made connections with many authors at Balance of Seven, and Ynes Freeman has been a great mentor and cheerleader!
Leo Otherland at Creative Central – Creative Central is a Facebook group with an amazing community of writers. I met my writing buddy, Leo Otherland, in this group, and he is a super talented writer! Leo now runs Creative Central, which is a fun and supportive place for writers. You can connect with Leo on his website, Twitter, or Facebook. And be sure to say hello to me in Creative Central!
Charlie Lowrey – One of my day jobs is working as a barber, and I had the pleasure of having Charlie in my chair. We began to chat, and eventually got on the subject of writing. We connected on this instantly and exchanged emails. I encouraged him to get his website up and running and to post his work! He is an excellent writer, and luckily he let us post one of his stories to our blog, Straw Man. It’s absolutely chilling, and is on par with a Stephen King short story. You can read Straw Man on our website here, and definitely check out Charlie’s website to keep up with him!
We’ve also built connections with readers by being vulnerable in our writing. I was nervous about sharing my first personal essay on Medium, about my husband’s cancer diagnoses and how we coped. This story ended up getting a lot of positive responses from people who’ve been through it too. It made me feel good that others were able to connect with my story and that maybe I helped them. You have something important to say and those words will touch someone if you put them out there.
What Do You Think?
Take a moment to think about your reasons for writing and sharing it with the world. Because the truth is, we all write because we have something worth saying, worth sharing, not to hide it in a notebook. Which reasons that we listed were encouraging to you? Do you have a reason to share your work that we didn’t include? If this post helped you, let us know in the comments! You can also fuel our writing with a burst of caffeine, by buying us a coffee.
Thanks so much for reading!
-Clever & WTF