This post was prompted after seeing a one-line description of a man who stripped naked on a flight in front of fellow passengers, and refused to put his clothes back on. Though one can assume he a) drank one too many cocktails at the airport lounge b) is suffering from mental illness or c) was playing an extreme version of "truth or dare," I have to admit I also thought, "Wow, he got naked in front of a LOT of people...and he didn't even care!" Yes, I'm getting to how this relates to writing.
As a writer, part of me feels exposed, like I'm baring it all when I send my work out there to crit partners, etc. Side Note: This is where I planned to insert an accompanying picture of someone feeling naked, but when I started Googling, I only found the naked part--and holy cow, they were NOT what I had in mind for this article.
Anyway, when I first began writing several years ago, I read that it was a good idea to join a critique group so I joined SCBWI and found a group I wanted to join. The problem was that it involved sending a sample of my work to the moderator, as they only had one opening. Up until this point, no one aside from family had seen my writing and I freaked out a little. Sure, you write things because you want other people to read them, but it was my first time, and I felt vulnerable and exposed. Like I was baring a part of me no one had seen before...I felt naked. Thank goodness they took me in (the fabulous Critiquers) because I've learned so much from this talented group of women, but at the time it was a difficult step to take.
Since then, it's gotten way easier, and I get naked all the time--in the writing kind of way. I still have that twinge when I send a new ms to my blog Sisters, or a new chapter to the Critiquers, but it's way easier now than it was that first time. Part of me wonders if that feeling will ever go away, and part of me doesn't want it to--it means I care about what I've created and want others to connect to it the way I did while writing it.
What about you? Anyone else feel naked when they send their stuff out into the world? Or you used to feel that way but you've gotten over it? NOTE: If you've ever stripped down on an airplane--um, wow--but you don't need to share!