Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Sharing your Writing takes Guts

Writing can be very emotionally rewarding, but also devastating, depending how it is received. When you put your heart into your writing, you leave yourself vulnerable by revealing your feelings, beliefs, and writing skills to others. The meaning of your writing may be misinterpreted and you can receive unexpected negative feedback.

While I was taking a college Creative Writing class, post degree, I got what I originally thought was a positive comment on a paper. It was a very detailed analysis of "The Handmaid's Tale" by Margaret Atwood. The paper was 21 pages long and I felt a bit sorry for my English instructor that had to read and grade it. To my surprise, she wrote that I should write for "intelligent" women magazines. In hindsight, it was only a partial compliment as it specified "women's magazines" and I am not sure many "intelligent" ones existed back in the 1990's.

I also wrote a short story in that class based on a real life experience of mine. To my horror, my instructor read it out in front of the class. I was in my early thirties, with the rest of the students eighteen or a bit older. The young men in the room started to heckle the story by making statements such as "that would never happen" or "she must have been a real bitch!" They were very angry and I kept shrinking down into my desk, hoping no one would notice my red face. It was as if I were reliving the terror of that day all over again.

I have had many people suggest that I write a book (I must really go on and on) due to the struggles in my life that I have had to overcome.. However, I am too busy at the moment for that and prefer sharing insights that I have gained overcoming some of these very difficult challenges.

My goal is that if I help just one person with my story, that they may come to realize they are not alone, it will make any effort on my part in writing this blog worthwhile.

Trudy Grossman